DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Barry University women's golf team completed its third round of the NCAA Division II National Championships in the same spot they've finished the first two rounds: third place.
The Buccaneers trail leader Nova Southeastern, the four-time defending national champs, by 13 strokes entering Saturday's final round at LPGA International Legends Course. Lynn is a stroke behind Nova in the 12-team field where the three Sunshine State Conference members have distanced themselves from the pack.
Barry shot 298 Friday on the 6,228-yard course as all five players were within six strokes of par in the third round. Sophomore Nancy Vergara is within a stroke of the overall lead held by Nova's Linnea Johansson. Nova's Daniela Ortiz, the first-round leader, carded a second consecutive 75, and is in third place, two strokes off the lead.
"We still hung in there," Buccaneers coach Shannon Sykora said. "We still got a chance tomorrow. Nova and Lynn played well, but we hung in there."
Vergara made three birdies and four bogeys to finish at 1-over 73 Friday. She has eight birdies in the tournament, and has never been more than 2-over during the championship event. Johansson had 18 straight pars in the third round.
"She's just playing one hole at a time," Sykora said of Vergara. "She knows she's got a chance tomorrow."
Lynn's Louise Manalo and Ellen Chambers are fourth and fifth, respectively, at 218 and 220.
Barry freshman Nicky Ferre is tied for 19th with Nova's Liliana Cammisa at 227. Ferre had two birdies for the third consecutive day in Friday's round to enter the clubhouse with a 5-over 77. Maria Paola Fiorio shot par, dropping in three back-nine birdie putts to vault 11 spots up the leaderboard into a three-way tie for 21st.
Senior Taylor Babcock shot 4-over 76, and is tied for 24th with teammate Daniela Murray, who carded a 78 Friday. Babcock had one birdie, while Murray finished with three on the day.
"As a team, we still feel good about our chances if we can play our best round of the year," Sykora said. "I think they were a little disappointed they couldn't make up some ground today, but they know they have a good opportunity tomorrow. We're looking forward to the opportunity to play this golf course and get back in it."