Women's golf tees off 2019 on Friday

The 2018-19 women's golf team.
Photo by Larry Newman

ORANGE, Calif. - In just its third season in program history, the Chapman University women's golf team returns to the links after taking second place at the SCIAC Championships to finish the 2018 season. Returning to the squad to lead the Panthers to another Championship is senior and All-SCIAC First Teamer Emily Lewis.

Lewis led Chapman at the 2018 SCIAC Championships, placing fourth overall with a score of 227 (+11), just seven strokes behind the leader from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. After a successful fall, Lewis enters the spring ranked sixth in all of the NCAA Division III. Four of the top-6 golfers in the rankings come from the SCIAC, including Lewis in sixth.

Sophomore Lauren Settle also returns to the team after earning All-SCIAC Second Team honors after her rookie season. Settle placed in the top-15 of both SCIAC competitions in the 2018 season and finished 28th overall at the SCIAC Championships to help the Panthers on their rapid rise up the SCIAC standings.

Settle ranks in the top-100 in Division III after a solid fall season. Freshman Kristen Lee also appears in the national rankings, checking in at No. 106.

Head Coach Ming Lao also welcomes back four more returners, including senior Marisa Bhanubandh and junior Haylie Bantle, who all represented the Panthers at the 2018 SCIAC Championships.

Bhanubandh finished 14th overall at the championships in her first year as a Panther an averaged 80.8 (+8.8) strokes per round on the year. Bantle took 37th overall at the SCIAC Championships after averaging a stroke of 91.7 (+19.7) on the year.

Despite a third place finish in the conference standings a year ago, the Panthers were slated to finish fifth in a poll of the SCIAC coaches.

The Panthers open up their 2019 season with dual against Vanguard on Friday, Feb. 8 at Los Serranos Golf Club.