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Rebels Capture Second Straight Mountain West Title

April 19, 2017


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. ( -  For a second-consecutive day, it took a strong finish for UNLV Women's Golf to jump ahead of San Diego State and stay there by round's end as the Rebels polished off back-to-back conference titles Wednesday at the 2017 Mountain West Women's Golf Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. UNLV carded a three-round score of 4-over 868 to claim a three-shot margin over second-place San Diego State. The victory marked the program's first consecutive league championships since the team won three straight from 2004-06 while it was the first time the Rebels had accomplished the feat under head coach Amy Bush-Herzer, who nabbed her third and the program's sixth overall.

Wednesday's final round played out almost identical to Tuesday's second, with San Diego State hitting three birdies and an eagle over the first three holes to take the lead from the Rebels, who entered the last 18 holes clinging to a one-shot lead over the Aztecs. Like Tuesday, UNLV's front nine saw a lot of shots hitting the green, but the birdie putts just wouldn't fall. Then the turn happened and the Rebels kicked it into finishing gear, nailing four birdies over holes 10 and 11 and three more over the final three holes. At one point it looked as if the Scarlet & Gray were going to cruise to an easy win, but SDSU kept pushing and the Rebels stayed focused to hit just enough shots to thwart any comeback at the end.

The Rebels started Wednesday with three players in the top five - seniors Harley Dubsky and Alexandra Kaui and sophomore Elizabeth Prior - and ended the tournament with three of the top seven finishers. Prior had the best round of the day to make her UNLV's highest-placed finisher at the tournament, tying for fourth after shooting a 1-under 71 in round three and a 2-under 214 for the tournament. Dubsky and Kaui, who were fourth and tied for sixth, respectively, after two rounds, both finished at even for the tournament to tie for sixth. Junior Mackenzie Raim, who hit a huge birdie on 17 to help put the Aztecs away, ended the championship in a tie for 14th at 6-over 222 while sophomore Alyssa Getty came in at a tie for 18th at 10-over 226. Statistically, Prior was third overall with nine birdies on the tournament, with Dubsky and Kaui each making 41 pars over the three days -- tied for second-most in the field.

"I'm incredibly proud of this team," said Bush-Herzer. "We talked about finishing strong and making every shot count. Even when SDSU was making the early birdies everyone just stayed focused. I'm really excited for them and happy they got to see all their hard work this year pay off."

Behind UNLV was SDSU in second with a 7-over 871, followed by San Jose State in third at 12-over (876), Fresno State in fourth at 25-over (889), New Mexico in fifth 31-over (895), Nevada, Reno in sixth at 47-over (911), Wyoming in seventh at 61-over (925), Colorado State in eighth at 69-over (933) and Boise State in ninth at 71-over (935).

The Mountain West Individual title had some drama during Wednesday's final round as the leader after two rounds, New Mexico's Manon Molle, had a rough go of it, shooting a 5-over on day three to drop into a tie for fourth at 2-under. SJSU's My Leander, the conference's top individual performer all year long, looked like she would get her first league title, but SDSU's Fernanda Escauriza turned in a stellar final round with two birdies in the last three holes to edge out Leander with a two-shot victory at 6-under 210, capping three rounds all under par. SJSU's Abegail Arevalo carded the best single round score of the day at 68 to jump to third at 3-under, followed by Molle and Prior in fourth and Kaui and Dubsky in sixth.

With the win, the Rebels have earned the conference's automatic bid to NCAA Regionals, set for May 8-10. It marks the 15th-consecutive regional appearance for UNLV Women's Golf.


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