Junior Shweta Galande (left) and sophomore Daniela Viotti look on between swings at a tournament last year.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis women’s golf team enters the 2011-12 season with high expectations. The UMSL Tritons earned back-to-back trips to the NCAA Regionals the last two years and had their sights set on a third consecutive trip when the season began yesterday (Sept. 12) in Green Bay, Wis., at the Green Bay Phoenix Invite. (The Tritons got off to a rough start, sitting in 10th after first-round competition yesterday.)

Ninth-year head coach James Earle has a relatively young roster with just one senior listed, but the experience of the squad is plentiful as four of UMSL’s top five return.

Headlining that group is junior Shweta Galande, a two-time NCAA Championships individual qualifier. Galande placed 30th nationally last season and owned a season scoring average of 78.5. She recorded nine top-10 finishes and earned medalist honors twice, including at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships.

Sophomore Daniela Viotti also returns after a standout freshman campaign in which she was named GLVC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Viotti finished with a team-best scoring average of 78.4, posting eight top-five finishes, including three medalist honors.

Other returnees include senior Lindsay Kellerman and juniors Chelsea Kellogg and Samantha Pelc.

Kellerman posted a scoring average of 84.9 in 22 rounds of competition, while Kellogg averaged a score of 89.4 in 22 rounds. Pelc played 16 rounds and owned a scoring average of 88.8.

The lone newcomer is freshman Bailey Hopper from Overland Park, Kan. Hopper prepped at Bishop Miege in Roeland Park, Kan., where she was a four-time state qualifier, placing third as a junior, fourth as a sophomore and seventh as a senior.

UMSL will compete in five tournaments during the fall portion of its schedule, including its own UMSL Tritons Invitational held at Gateway Golf Links in Madison, Ill., Oct. 10-11.

More information:

Mary Ann Mitchell

Mary Ann Mitchell

Eye on UMSL: Tending the gardens

Biology student James Ott and Sustainable Energy & Environmental Coordinator Katy Mike Smaistrla pull weeds last week in the native gardens north of the Recreation Wellness Center.