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Golf ties for third in Arizona

Standout performances by Taya Battistella and Sarah Tiller helped the Vikings finish third at the Northern Arizona Lumberjack Invitational. Portland State was tied with Western New Mexico for fifth place after day one of the Lumberjack Invitational, but the Vikings’ top placers brought the team up two places in day two.

Battistella, a senior, led the Vikings on day one with an 18-hole score of 76, tying for ninth place among 60 competitors. Tiller, a sophomore, landed in 24th place with a score of 81.

Battistella, who toured Asia this summer with the NCAA All-Star golf team, has been playing consistently well this fall for the Vikings. After sitting out last season due to a back injury, the Viking’s top golfer in 2000-01 seems to have slipped back into her role as one of the team’s leaders.

Northern Arizona’s Lauren Gray led all individual finishers on day one with a score of 71.

Other Big Sky Conference finishes after day one included Eastern Washington (2nd), Montana (7th) and Idaho State (9th).

Tiller gave a standout performance on day two, shooting a career-low 71. She finished in seventh place overall, with a combined tournament score of 152. It was her best performance while playing for PSU.

Battistella was not able to top her first-day score, shooting an 80. Her overall score of 156 put her in yet another tie, this time for 12th place. Sophomore Jeana Lee also turned in a respectable combined score of 160, placing her in a tie for 20th place.

The Portland State team was able to jump from fifth to a tie for third place overall, with a score of 631. Rose City rival University of Portland also scored 631 in the tournament, allowing them to keep the third-place ranking they earned on day one.

Northern Arizona’s Gray was able to sustain her first-place position, shooting a 73 for day two and finishing with a score of 144. Northern Arizona also took first place in the tournament, with a two-day score of 600.

Ten teams competed in the event, which was held October 14-15 at the Aspen Valley Country Club in Flagstaff, Ariz. The par-72 course is 6,189 yards.

The Vikings outplayed other Big Sky teams competing in the match. Eastern Washington fell from second to fifth place, while Montana and Idaho State were not able to pull themselves from their seventh and ninth first-day rankings.

The Vikings will compete in their final fall tournament next week in Boise, Idaho. The Bronco Fall Classic takes place Oct. 21-22.