GVSU women’s golf opens season with a key win, men fall 3-2 in match play
For the Grand Valley State University women’s golf team, they hope a win in a tournament featuring top 25 ranked teams will be a sign of things to come for the spring season.
During spring break, GVSU faced Midwestern State University and the University of Indianapolis, both ranked in the top 25, higher then GVSU coming into the Las Vegas Desert Classic.
“Coming out of the winter season and not seeing grass since October, getting a win against that field was something to be proud of,” said head coach Rebecca Mailloux. “It’s good for the rankings and for our confidence.”
The Lakers won the tournament with a two-day score of 638, Midwestern State finished second with a 642. The rest of the field was Lewis-Clark State (662), Indianapolis (666), and Missouri-St. Louis (678). The Lakers shot a team round of 310 on the second day of the tournament at Revere Golf Club to win by four strokes.
“When we play to our potential, we’re potentially unbeatable,” said senior captain Marni Weinstein. “We played well coming out of the winter. Other teams have a bit of an upper hand on us with most of them being farther south; they get to play outside.”
Sophomore Kelly Hartigan finished the tournament with a 158 (14), good enough to put her in a tie for second overall. Hartigan missed first place by only one stroke.
“It was a great performance,” Mailloux said. “I know she felt she could have played a little better. Kelly is someone who is always looking to get better.”
Weinstein finished 78 (6) on day two, finishing at 159 (15) for the tournament, earning fourth place. This was Weinsteins third consecutive top five finish.
With a disappointing fall season in the past, the Lakers are optimistic yet uncertain about the rest of the year. GVSU will look to build off this early season start and hope to carry the momentum out for the rest of the year.
“I don’t have a whole lot of expectation (for the winter semester), being down one player (senior captain Ashley Beard). I just want to see the team get better and work hard to get to regionals and hopefully the national tournament,” Mailloux said.
The fortune was not as favorable for the men’s golf team in a close fought match with Saginaw Valley State University at the Hyland Hills Golf Club in Pinehurst, N.C.
A 3-2 loss in match play to a less then stellar squad doesn’t have the Lakers panicking though, as a strong fall season gives reason for an optimistic view going forward. The Lakers finished in the top five five out of the last six times playing heading into the winter.
“Both teams came off a long winter,” said sophomore Jack Rider. “We’re not gonna read too much into it. It wasn’t anything detrimental to our confidence.”
Junior Chris Cunningham and Rider accounted for the Lakers two victories.
“We played ok. It’s the first time for most of us touching a club in a while,” Cunningham said. “Obviously there’s going to be some rust coming out of the winter. It wasn’t anything too discouraging.”
Remaining confident, the Lakers will look to improve, especially after the high-end play to end the fall season, including an 11 stroke come-from-behind victory at the GLIAC Invitational.
The Laker men’s next matchup is the Parkside Spring Invitational in Columbus, Ind. on March 31 and April 1. For the women’s team, their next trip will take them to Carrollton, Ky. for the Perry Park Spring Fling on March 23 and 24.