Led on the links by third-year Head Coach Jack Stewart, the University of Redlands women's golf team established a strong foundation for future success with a youth-laden squad that benefitted from the talents and leadership of its lone senior. The Bulldogs produced seven top-10 finishes and sent senior All-American Caroline Ordian (Palm Desert, CA) to the NCAA Division III Championships for the fourth time in her illustrious career. With tenacity and skill, the team saw steady improvement throughout the year and muscled its way to a sixth-place showing at the SCIAC Championship Tournament.
The Bulldogs opened the fall season with a productive trip to Goodyear, AZ, by competing in the Western New Mexico University Fall Intercollegiate at the Golf Club of Estrella. Ordian showcased her talents with a field-leading nine birdies while shooting minus-one on the par fives for a winning score of 144 (72-72).
During the ensuing weekend, Redlands took on Cal Lutheran University in a dual match at Arrowhead Country Club. First-years Makayla Sugidono (Scottsdale, AZ) and Annie Hay (University Place, WA) recorded rounds of 84 and 85 to finish fifth and sixth, respectively. Overall, the Bulldogs proved to be the better team with a 318-334 advantage in the overall scoring.
To close out the fall slate, the Maroon and Gray locked down fourth place at the Culturame Classic in Canby, OR, by shaving off 16 strokes to earn a 666 (341-325). Ordian paced the Bulldogs with a 79 on day one before rallying to shoot a 73 the next day for a tied-for-fifth-place finish.
The spring season began in February with the Point Loma Reach Tournament, where Redlands placed 11th overall with a final score of 693 (345-348) in a field of both NCAA Division II and III teams. First-year Elise Kiya (Palo Alto, CA) made her competitive debut as a Bulldog and walked away with a score of 180 (93-87). In addition, Sugidono and first-year Emily Duncan (Murrieta, CA) tallied 36-hole totals of 183 and 186, respectively.
In late February, Redlands served as host for the first time this season when it welcomed the SCIAC to Arrowhead Country Club for the opening conference tournament. Ordian continued her impressive season with a second-place outing in a talented field of 44 players. She stayed consistent with a solid score of 77 in each round for a total of 154, which was just three strokes back of the leader. Overall, she notched 18 pars and five birdies. With multiple players recording better scores on day two, the Bulldogs climbed one spot in the team standings to finish sixth. Individually, Kiya saw the most improvement on the weekend by cutting 12 strokes off her score to shoot a 79 for a 36-hole total of 170 (91-79) and move up to 22nd place on the individual leaderboard.
After a two-week break from competition, Redlands headed to the Cal Lutheran University Regals Invitational on March 12-13. By dropping 12 strokes from their team score, the Bulldogs staved off the competition to finish fourth with a two-round tally of 678 (345-333). Ordian led the young squad with a score of 155 (77-78) to end the weekend in a tie for third overall. Hay showed promise with a score of 165 (83-82) to finish 11th in the standings. Sugidono, Duncan, and Kiya each improved on their day-two scores, with Kiya showing the greatest jump with a nine-stroke reduction.
With a quick turnaround, the Bulldogs hit the road for a return trip to Arizona just four days later. Despite a solid sixth-place performance in round one of the George Fox Westbrook Invitational, the Bulldogs slipped to eighth upon conclusion of the tournament. Nonetheless, Ordian kept her cool to finish atop the 44-player field with her best score of the season at 143 (72-71). The first-year players showed additional progression, with Hay knocking her previous score down to a 166 (85-81).
Redlands closed out the month of March by hosting the second annual Bulldog Classic at the Indian Springs Golf Course in Indio. In a challenging field of teams from all over the country, the Maroon and Gray erased 14 strokes on day two to finish in 14th place with a 676 (345-331). Ordian remained the Bulldogs' steady force with her fourth-place performance that landed her among the All-Tournament selections. With a 36-hole score of 151 (73-78), she carded five birdies and 19 pars while ranking among the top 12 in scoring for par threes, fours, and fives.
About a week later, the Bulldogs made the trek to Pasadena for the second conference tournament of the season. Redlands reveled in its consistency by firing off back-to-back rounds of 328 for a total of 656 for fifth place overall. After sitting in 10th place through 18 holes, Ordian refocused to rally all the way to medalist honors with a tournament-low 71. She ended the event with an impressive overall score of 149 (78-71). Kiya registered a personal best as a Bulldog on day one with a solid 77 and continued to battle with an 82 on day two for a final tally of 156 to tie for 11th place.
During the SCIAC Championship Tournament, the Bulldogs provided consistent scores that allowed them to remain in sixth throughout the three days of competition at Los Serranos Golf Course. Ordian concluded her SCIAC career with an efficient 54-hole tally of 223 (76-73-74) to take second overall in the tournament. Amidst her impressive outing, she was one of only two players who recorded an eagle. She also registered five birdies and 35 pars in a solid performance. In addition, Hay tied for 21st with a three-round score of 246 (86-80-80) and finished among the top 20 in par-three scoring (3.25), par-five scoring (5.42), and total pars (26). Kiya was close behind in 26th place after shooting rounds of 89-78-83. She also ranked among the top 20 in par-three scoring (3.33) and sank three birdies.
After a resilient season from Ordian, she advanced to the NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championships in Howey-in-the-Hills, FL. In a competitive field, she sat five strokes behind the leader in a tie for 11th place with a score of 78 after the opening round. Ordian was motivated heading into day two and climbed eight spots to finish in third midway through the championships. She recorded 11 pars, a birdie, and an eagle during her spectacular round of 75. After day two, she was just one stroke behind the leader. Following an uncharacteristic third day that put her in 26th, she stepped up her game to finish 17th in the standings for a quality ending to her stellar career. After 72 holes, she owned a final score of 318 (78-75-88-77).
Ordian was viewed as one of the NCAA's best with Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) First-Team All-America honors as well as her fourth-consecutive First-Team All-SCIAC nod. Finally, she was named the 2018 Frank Serrao Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was selected as Redlands' NCAA Woman of the Year nominee.
Ordian also landed on the All-SCIAC First Team for the fourth time in her career. In her final season, she posted a scoring average of 75.14 in seven conference rounds. In addition, Hay and Kiya reeled in inaugural All-Conference honors with Second-Team nods. Hay earned a scoring average of 86.57, while Kiya registered a SCIAC-scoring average of 82.71 in seven rounds, as highlighted by her season-low of 77.
Beyond golf, the young squad put together quality marks in the classroom, as Hay, Duncan, and Ordian each finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher to earn WGCA All-American Scholar honors. Additionally, the same three received recognition with the SCIAC All-Academic award.
Despite the challenges of the season, the Bulldog women's golf team produced quality marks that will serve the returning core well in the future. Although the significant void left by Ordian must be addressed, Redlands holds high hopes for the next chapter of the program.