Young Iowa State team growing up fast

ORLANDO, Fla. – After a successful 2013-14 campaign, during which Iowa State made its first appearance at the NCAA Women’s Championship, the Cyclones will try and do it again this season. This time, the roster looks a little different.

The entire Cyclones roster consists of only five players – three freshman, one junior and one senior. It’s a very young team for 11-year head coach Christie Martens.

“There are some growing pains, but things are exciting and there are flashes of good play,” Martens said.

“There’s not competition in the lineup, but there’s a competition within themselves to see where they want to be and where they see themselves as a team. It’s a kind of different of pressure for sure.”

Iowa State, No. 32 in Golfweek’s rankings, may be young, but Marten looks at it as if she has five very experienced players competing for her this season.

Her upperclassmen – Chonlada Chayanun (teammates call her Koy) and Cajsa Persson – both played at NCAAs last year, earning experience to use in leadership roles that benefit their younger teammates. As for Martens’ three freshmen – Celia Barquin, M.J. Kamin and Nattapan Siritrai – each player had played in big junior events, both nationally and internationally, before reaching Ames, Iowa, so there were no surprises and little adjusting.

“The only difference is that they are playing for a team now,” Martens said.

The Cyclones look to finish strong at the UCF Challenge, their first start of the spring. After the second round, Iowa State sits in fifth – 10 strokes behind leader Virginia.

Read more about second-round play at the UCF Challenge

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