April 17, 2012

ThunderWolves storm to first ever conference title

Pack sophomore Dinallo claims individual conference championship.


LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. (GoThunderWolves.com - Apr. 17, 2012) - Three years ago, CSU-Pueblo head coach Greg Dillon took over a ThunderWolves women's golf team that was languishing in last place - a place it had grown accustomed to occupying since the program began in 2005.

Tuesday, Dillon's ThunderWolves completed an amazing 180-degree turnaround, turning in its best individual round and individual tournament scores in school history as it overtook Western New Mexico to claim the program's first ever Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship.

Additionally, the team will come home with two trophies - sophomore Domi Dinallo (So., Elephant Butte, N.M.) built on her first-round 75 to post a second-round 78 to clinch the RMAC individual championship by a single stroke.

It, too, marks the first ever individual championship by a CSU-Pueblo golfer.  Her two-round 153 at 9-over-par is also a new two-round individual record.

The ThunderWolves completed the dream by overcoming Western New Mexico, which led the ThunderWolves by five strokes entering Tuesday's final round. 

But fate worked in the Pack's favor as Western New Mexico was a woman down, as its fifth entrant, Katie Moats, withdrew and did not play in either round of the tournament.  As a result, Western New Mexico had very little margin for error as it reported its top four scores in each round for the team championship race.

The ThunderWolves, however, more than made up the five stroke difference on the Mustangs, shooting eight strokes better as each ThunderWolf except Dinallo cut strokes from their first-round total.

The main difference maker was Michaela Breit (So., Greeley, Colo.), who recovered from a very uncharacteristic 88 in the first round to shoot 78, the second-lowest final round score in the field.  Dinallo's second-round 78, combined with a pair of 81s from Julie Sanchez (Fr., Pueblo, Colo.) and Trisha Vinci (So., Rye, Colo.) helped the ThunderWolves to card a team 318, edging its two-week-old school record of 320.  

The ThunderWolves' two-round total of 648 - just 72-over-par as a team - also set a new two-round record. 

The party isn't over yet for the ThunderWolves as it will now set its sights on the NCAA Central Regional May 6-8 in Dinallo's hometown of Elephant Butte, N.M., which will also mark the first time a ThunderWolves team has qualified for the Regional Championship.  If the Pack can secure a top-four finish there, their next stop is the NCAA Division II National Championships May 16-19 in Louisville, Ky.