LINCOLN, Neb. – Oklahoma City University’s Jessica Schiele and Elia Folch finished first and second individually at the NAIA Championships to lead OCU to its sixth NAIA women’s golf title Friday at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club.
The second-ranked Stars finished with 310-305-305-304-1,224 on the par-72, 5,979-yard course to defeat defending-champion British Columbia by 12 strokes and seventh-ranked Embry-Riddle (Fla.) by 20. OCU tops NAIA women’s golf with six national championships.
Schiele became OCU’s fourth individual national champion, leading the NAIA. Emily Albrektson won the 2005 individual crown, Ashley Sholer took the 2006 title and Sydney Cox captured the 2009 championship.
Folch is the fourth Star to finish as national runner-up, joining Bonnie Howard in 2005, Toni Pyrum in 2006 and Sholer in 2009.
"This is really special for us," OCU coach Marty McCauley said. "It has been four years since we have been standing in this spot and I am really proud of the team. The girls have worked their tails off to get here. This is a really special feeling to be standing in this spot."
Schiele, of Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, England, carded four birdies and turned in a final-round 78. The senior rolled in 13 birdies on the tournament and finished with 75-68-74-78-295 to finish five shots ahead of Folch and nine shots ahead of Mariah Montoya of Lubbock Christian (Texas).
"It’s amazing that we pulled together to win the national championship," Schiele said. "I struggled a little bit today with nerves but I had coach with me the entire round to help calm my nerves."
Folch, a junior from Barcelona, Spain, turned in a round-four 73 to jump two spots up the leaderboard into second place. Folch made six birdies in the final two rounds and finished the tournament with 75-78-74-73-300.
Senior Taylor Howard, of Ada, Okla., made three birdies in the final round and finished with 78-80-79-78-315. Howard made six birdies and an eagle on the tournament.
Fellow senior Mary Larsh, of Edmond, Okla., holed a pair of birdies and carded a final-round 75. Larsh posted a four-day total of 82-79-84-75-320.
Tanya Tibshraeny, a senior from Westhaven, Kirkwood, South Africa, carded a round-four 79 and finished one shot behind Larsh. Tibshraeny made four birdies on the tournament and finished with 84-80-78-79-321.
Folch and Schiele landed on the all-tournament team and McCauley was named NAIA coach of the year.
OCU has captured NAIA women’s golf titles in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and now 2012.
In all sports, OCU has captured 51 total national championships. OCU has won at least one national championship every year since 1994.
2013 All-Tournament Team
Jessica Schiele, Oklahoma City
Elia Folch, Oklahoma City
Mariah Montoya, Lubbock Christian (Texas)
Maria Saavedra, Bellevue (Neb.)
Shelbye Hill, Lubbock Christian (Texas)
Haley Cameron, British Columbia
Sophie Olley, Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
Esther Kang, Northwood (Texas)
Connie Pitenis, Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
Alazne Urizar, SCAD Savannah (Ga.)
Sofia Molinaro, SCAD Savannah (Ga.)
Tarah Winfield, Northwood (Fla.)
Stephanie Wong, British Columbia
Christian Liggin, Coastal Georgia
Sunny Powers, Concordia (Ore.)