A shot at the school’s first national championship slipped away from the USCB women’s golf team on the back nine of Friday’s final round of the NAIA National Championships, but the Sand Sharks walked away with a third-place finish — the highest in program history and tied for the best national championship finish by any USCB team.
The Sand Sharks posted a team score of 311 in the final round, finishing the rain-shortened 54-hole event at 934, nine back of champion Oklahoma City and one behind runner-up Embry-Riddle (Ariz.).
The possibility of a national title loomed for most of the day for USCB, which grabbed a one-shot through six holes but hovered three to five shots behind the Stars for most of the round. The Sand Sharks were three shots off the lead through 15 holes, but Oklahoma City pulled away to win its eighth women’s golf national championship.
Freshman Blanca Porta (79-74-82) and junior Franzi Knoetsch (79-80-76) finished the week tied for 17th to lead the Sand Sharks. Junior Moa Kristenson (81-78-79) tied for 26th, while sophomore Vanessa Schloo (82-75-82) and junior Emily Turner (77-88-74) tied for 30th.
USCB was the only team to place all five players in the top 30 — and all five return next season.