EWU sophomore earns All-Big Sky second team


Photo by Karissa Berg

Marissa Borja made the Big Sky All-Conference Team, and she is the first EWU golfer to do so since 2009.

By Elohino Theodore, Sports Writer

For the first time since 2009, an EWU golfer represents the university on a Big Sky All-Conference team.

This season, sophomore Marissa Borja earned second team All-Big Sky honors for the first time in her collegiate career. “It feels great, I’ve been working really hard all year,” Borja said. “In the fall I shot my career low of 69, it felt really good. In the spring, I won my first tournament.”

In the second round of the Cowgirl Desert Classic in October, Borja shot a career-low of 69. She finished in third place at the classic in Palm Desert, California, Borja also won her first career tournament at the Southern Utah in March. She shot a 145 (72-73) for a total of two rounds. Borja was ahead of 71 golfers at this tournament.

Borja also competed at the Big Sky Championship in Chandler, Arizona. She tied for 27th while scoring 237 for three rounds. Borja scored 78 in the first round, 77 in the second round and 82 in the third round. Eastern finished in seventh place.

Borja described that during her season, she had to overcome adversity a few times. “I would say I had some hiccups here and there,” Borja said. “I had a couple rounds where I felt like I was off.”

“I think everyone goes through that point where they’ve been playing so well and they kind of go through obstacles throughout their performance,” Borja said. “So that’s what happened to me throughout the season, but I know that now I’m mentally stronger and my game has definitely improved.”

Borja elaborated on how this honor gives her a new perspective. “It’s kind of like a confidence booster for next year,” Borja said. She also explained where this All-Big Sky second team honor ranks among her past achievements. “It’s definitely up there,” Borja said.

“I feel like this year has definitely been the highlight of my whole golf career. Collegiate golf is on another level, and so not many people can say that they won a collegiate tournament.”

Borja has been playing golf for fifteen years; she started when she was five years old. Four years later at age nine, she started competing. She earned all-conference honors in high school for three years. She placed in the top 20 in state during her junior year at Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley, Calif.

Head coach Brenda Howe thought Borja performed well this season. “Overall she did great,” Howe said. “Her scoring average for the season ranks fourth on the all-time list of scoring averages. Currently with last year and this year, she currently ranks as the best golfer in Eastern history.”

Howe gave her view of how important this honor is for the golf team. “It’s been a while for the program to have someone on the conference team,” Howe said. “It’s not only exciting for [Borja], but for the program as well.”

EWU golf has been a part of the Big Sky All-Conference Teams since 1993. Golfers have represented Eastern on the All-Conference team in 1993-1996, 2003-2005, 2007-2009 and finally in 2014.

In 1997-2002, there were not any Eastern golf athletes present on the All-Conference squads. EWU took yet another hiatus in 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

According to Howe and Borja, this Big Sky honor gives attention to Eastern’s golf program. “It definitely gives us some recognition,” Howe said. “I think hopefully the team notices that, ‘Hey, there [are] some honors to be won here, maybe it’ll light a fire.’”

“I feel like it definitely shines some light on us,” Borja said. “We’re a very small team, it definitely shows what we’re capable of.”