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Belles prepare for MIAA Championship

Joe Wirth | Friday, October 7, 2011

The Belles came into the 2011 season with great expectations. Although there have been disappointments along the way, their season can be salvaged with a good performance at this weekend’s MIAA championships.

Coming off a one-stroke defeat last weekend at the Kalamazoo Jamboree, coach Mark Hamilton said he thinks the team is confident and ready to play good golf when it matters most — with a conference championship on the line.

“Our expectations are to win,” Hamilton said. “We are a few shots down, we really put ourselves behind the eight ball, but I have a feeling we are going to come through and win.”

Going into this weekend’s tournament, Saint Mary’s is in third place in the MIAA standings. They are eight shots behind Olivet and 23 strokes behind Hope.

“Last week I saw some good signs, signs of improvement. We just have to finish our rounds. If we do that, then we will be fine,” Hamilton said.

If the Belles are going to come home with the conference championship, they are going to need strong performances from seniors Christine Brown and Natalie Matuszak, who have led the team in scoring this year.

“There is supposed to be good weather this weekend, so good ball strikers should have an advantage. Our team is full of those kinds of players, so I am confident and really like our chances,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton also said the team will feel comfortable at Bedford Valley Golf Club because many of the players have played the course before. The course does not offer any surprises and is very similar to other courses they play during their MIAA schedule.

“Our players should not have a problem with the course. Many have played it before and it is like a lot of courses we have been playing all year,” he said.

The MIAA Championship is a two-day tournament beginning at 1 p.m. Friday and continuing at 9 a.m. Saturday at Bedford Valley Golf Club in Augusta, Mich.

Contact Joe Wirth at jwirth@nd.edu