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SMC GOLF: Mattia leads team in weekend tournament

Anna Fricano | Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Senior Megan Mattia led the way for the Saint Mary’s golf team this past weekend, shooting an 81 in the final day of the Ferris State Bulldog Invitational and coming in at 25th place overall. Mattia’s efforts helped the Belles to achieve an 11th-place finish in their first competition of the year.

The team got off to a somewhat slow start on Saturday, and they were in 12th place after the first round. Nearly all of the golfers saw improved scores on Sunday as everyone adjusted to the course. The improvement allowed Saint Mary’s to overcome regional-competitors St. Joseph’s-Indiana at the conclusion of the tournament.

One disappointing factor for Saint Mary’s was that the Belles were beaten by MIAA opponent Olivet College. Although the defeat does not affect conference standings, the Belles, who have captured the MIAA title for three years in a row, did not like to see themselves finishing eight strokes behind their opponent.

Mattia has been an integral part of the Saint Mary’s golf program for the past three years, gaining MIAA honors and showing continual improvement in her scores. The past weekend marked the fourth and final appearance that Mattia would make at the Bulldog Invitational, and the senior is not upset to be done with that particular event.

“I’ve played that course for four years … I didn’t really like it so I’m glad not to have to play it again,” said Mattia.

But the weekend did provide Mattia with a basis for improvement during her last season with the Belles.

“I played pretty solid,” she said. “I’ve been practicing pretty hard [but] there is still room for improvement.”

For someone who has been on a winning team her entire college career, losing to Olivet was not easy to swallow. But Mattia has her mind on continued improvement both individually and as a team, and is confident that she and her peers will be able to make her last season a success.

“Individually I just want to play really well, to make first-team all-conference, to keep improving [and] score well,” Mattia said.

But, at least for the next week, the only thing the Mattia, as well as the rest of the Saint Mary’s team, has to deal with is to be the only Division-III team represented at Division-I tournament. The Belles will make the short trip over to Notre Dame this weekend to compete in a two-day competition with a host of D-I schools. The competition will probably be the most difficult for Saint Mary’s all year, but the Belles are looking forward to the challenge.

“I think we’re all pretty nervous for it but we hope to play well,” said Mattia. “It’s an honor just to be invited.”

Mattia will most likely continue to be one of the leading factors on the Saint Mary’s team, and the Belles can count on the senior to provide low scores this weekend and for the rest of the season.