It was a good weekend for Louisiana Tech’s athletic programs across the board, not just in hoops.
GOLF: Less than 36 hours before the Bulldogs were scheduled to leave for Houston, the winter weather forecast forced alternate plans. After the Houston All-American Invitational was canceled, coach Matt Terry made a quick phone call to Thibodaux and the Bulldogs headed south to compete in the 13-team LaTour Intercollegiate.
New tournament. New venue. New field.
Sam Murphy picked up his first collegiate individual title in a Bulldog uniform and brother Mac finished second as the Dogs dominated the field, winning by 18 strokes and taking home the team title.
Sam shot seven-under-par 137 (69-68) to win by two strokes while Mac was close behind with a 139 (72-67). All five Bulldog golfers finished in the top 20 (out of 70 competitors), including Will Patrick (76-69=145, T-9th), James Swash (75-72=147, T15th) and Lake Juban (72-76=148, T18th).
Tech tied a program single-round record with a 12-under-par 276 on Sunday’s final round.
“These guys were ready to play before we ever left Ruston,” Terry said. “They adapted really quick as we had to go to a different golf course that they’d never seen before in this kind of weather. We had one yardage book between all five of them and it didn’t bother them one bit.
“The biggest key was their attitudes were right before we ever left Ruston. They got here and they were ready to compete. It showed by how we played today. It never got above 38 degrees with the wind chill and they tied the school record.”
Tech heads to Oxford, Mississippi, to face Ole Miss in match play Saturday.
SOCCER: The golf team wasn’t the only LA Tech program winning in Thibodaux on a frigid Sunday. The Lady Techsters picked up their third straight triumph, blanking Nicholls 1-0 at Yockey Bernard Field.
The Lady Techsters (5-2) dominated the match for all 90 minutes, outshooting the Colonels 23-4 while generating seven corner kicks. However, it wasn’t until Klesha Darroux hit the back of the net midway through the second half that LA Tech took a lead.
“We overcame some difficult weather conditions to get the win,” said coach Kevin Sherry. “A narrow turf field is always going to be difficult to play on and with a biting wind blowing, it made it even more of a problematic game. I am proud of the team for the way withstood the conditions and competed to the very end.”
It was the final corner kick of the day for Tech that ultimately resulted in the goal in the 65th minute of the match. Sophie Fijneman sent the corner kick into the box where Darroux delivered the one-touch finish.
The Lady Techster defense allowed just four shot attempts on the day as six players went the full 90 minutes. Katie Cook got the start in net and registered her second win (both via shutout).
The Lady Techsters are slated to play Tuesday at Spring Hill College at 6 p.m.
BOWLING: In another star-studded tournament, the 5th ranked Louisiana Tech bowling team recorded a fourth-place finish at the Lady Techster Classic held in Dallas Friday and Saturday.
The event was originally scheduled for three days but had to be shortened due to the weather.
No. 2 Vanderbilt won with 7,089 total pins. No. 3 Arkansas State placed second with 6,863 pins, No. 10 Stephen F. Austin finished third with 6,743 and No. 5 Louisiana Tech was fourth with 6,738. No. 12 Tulane placed fifth with 6,724 total pins, followed by No. 6 Sam Houston at sixth with 6,702 and Grambling rounded out the team standings at seventh with 3,232.
“Although it was an abrupt ending, we were able to still get a great senior day for Ashley and Kaitlyn,” coach Matt Nantais said. “We ended the tournament with a 3-4 record. It was not our best showing, but, as a team, we never gave up. We struggled with keeping up with the transition and filling in the 10th frame.”
Senior Ashley Channell and sophomore Danielle Jedlicki led the Lady Techsters after placing ninth (204) and 10th (201), respectively.
Louisiana Tech will next compete at the Vanderbilt-hosted Columbia 300 Music City Classic from March 5-7 in Nashville.