Feb. 20, 2016

PEORIA, Ariz. – On the heels of a record-setting fall season, the No. 21 University of Notre Dame women’s golf team looks to continue its upward trajectory as it opens the spring 2016 campaign at 10:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. MT) Sunday with the first two rounds of the Westbrook Spring Invitational on the Vistas Course (par 72/6,269 yards) at the Westbrook Village Golf Club in Peoria, Arizona.

Westbrook Spring Invitational
Feb. 21-22, 2016
Format: 54 holes (36 holes Sunday, 18 holes Monday)
Tee Times: 10:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. MT Sunday-Monday (shotgun starts)
Location: Peoria, Arizona
Course (Par/Yardage): Westbrook Village Golf Club — Vistas Course (par 72/6,269 yards)
Tournament Field (in order of latest Golfstat ranking): San Diego State (16), Notre Dame (21), UNLV (23), Oregon (31), SMU (36), Ohio State (47), Illinois (53), Washington State (57), Indiana (71), Kansas State (72), Iowa (78), Oregon State (82), Wisconsin (84), College of Charleston (91) and Nebraska (110).
Notre Dame Lineup (2015-16 stroke average): Maddie Rose Hamilton (74.64), Talia Campbell (73.07), Emma Albrecht (73.29), Isabella DiLisio (72.71), Kari Bellville (75.71), Jordan Ferreira (74.71 — competing as individual)
Live Scoring: BirdieFire.com
Twitter: @NDwomensGolf

Here’s a look at five things you need to know as Notre Dame steps to the first tee on the Vistas Course at Westbrook on Sunday morning:

  • The Fighting Irish are making their second appearance in the Westbrook Spring Invitational, which is hosted by the University of Wisconsin. Last year, Notre Dame tied for third at the tournament after carding 868 (+4).
  • Notre Dame’s No. 21 ranking (according to Golfstat) is its highest to begin the spring season since the 2010-11 campaign, when the Fighting Irish began the second half of their year ranked 15th in a season that culminated with a BIG EAST Conference title, a top-five NCAA regional finish and the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA finals.
  • The Notre Dame freshman class of Emma Albrecht (Ormond Beach Fla./Father Lopez), Isabella DiLisio (Hatfield, Pa./Mount Saint Joseph Academy) and Maddie Rose Hamilton (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy) completed the fall season ranked as the No. 3 rookie class in the nation by Golfstat with a combined 73.55 stroke average. Thus, it’s not surprising that, in what has become a regular occurrence this year, all three Fighting Irish freshmen are in the starting lineup this weekend at Westbrook, led by Hamilton, who earned the leadoff spot after tying for team-high honors in the fall finale at the Landfall Tradition at three-over par 219. Prior to this season, Notre Dame had not had three freshmen in the lineup since the 2007 BIG EAST Championship.
  • Senior captain Talia Campbell (Dallas, Texas/Ursuline Academy) and sophomore Kari Bellville (Granger, Ind./Penn), who round out this weekend’s starting lineup for Notre Dame, both played for the Fighting Irish in last year’s Westbrook Spring Invitational. Campbell tied for 16th place at 217 (+1), while Bellville shared 48th place at 224 (+8).
  • Notre Dame has perhaps the best roster balance from top to bottom of any Fighting Irish team in the program’s 28-year history. Of the six players who have competed this season – the aforementioned five starters plus junior Jordan Ferreira (University Place, Wash./Bellarmine Prep), who will play as an individual participant this weekend – all six finished in the top 10 of at least one tournament last fall, with each player posting at least three rounds at par or better, including five of the six who have carded a round or more in the 60s. What’s more, DiLisio (72.71), Campbell (73.07) and Albrecht (73.29) all have stroke averages currently among the top four single-season marks in school history, with DiLisio presently matching Lindsey Weaver’s 2012-13 program record.

For more information on the Notre Dame women’s golf program, visit the women’s golf page of the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (UND.com/ndwomensgolf), sign up to follow the Notre Dame women’s golf Twitter feed (@NDwomensGolf) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.

– ND –

Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s golf and women’s basketball programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).