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SMC GOLF: Megan Mattia leads team in Normal, Ill.

Jordan Beltz | Monday, September 19, 2005

The Belles went into the weekend riding a huge emotional high after their conference opening victory on Wednesday, and parlayed that confidence into a solid performance at the Illinois Wesleyan Fall Classic in Normal, Ill.

The Belles came out of the Fall Classic with an 11th-place finish, besting 13 other schools. In two rounds, the Belles shot a 644 composite score, just two strokes back of a top-10 finish.

Depauw, a bitter rival of the Belles, took home the title after shooting a 601 composite score.

Other notable finishes included the host school Illinois Wesleyan Titans squad finishing second, while the University of Indianapolis came into the clubhouse fourth.

As has been the norm all season long, senior Megan Mattia set the pace for the Belles. She fired a 77-stroke first round and a 78 second round for 155 total, good enough for a No. 17 overall finish. Kirsten Fantom shot a 158, which put her in a tie for No. 29. Rounding out the top five for the Belles were Katie O’Brien (No. 53), Nicole Bellino (No. 66) and Erin McQueen (No. 83).

“We were a little disappointed with the way we finished,” Mattia said. “We got beat by a few teams that we should be beating. We are definitely steadily improving as the season moves on, so we should be able to finish strong.”

The Belles are currently ranked No. 4 in the latest Division-III women’s golf poll. They have put together strong middle-of-the-pack finishes in the larger invitationals that they have played in thus far, and emerged victorious from their only conference match of the season to date.

“We’re ready to go out next week and dominate,” Mattia said. “We’re going to show that we can play as well as we know that we can.”

The Belles are looking to wrap up the remainder of their regular season on a high note with their final two conference matches this week. They travel to Olivet College Wednesday, and then they bring the regular season to a conclusion on Saturday at Adrian College.

The MIAA Championships will be held Oct. 7-8, at a site to be determined.