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SMC Golf: Belles embark on MIAA play

Brendan Bell | Wednesday, September 19, 2012

After an eighth-place finish at the O’Brien Invitational, the No. 15 Belles hope to transition into conference play with a more confident team than they had at the beginning of the season, thanks to the experience gained through invitational play. Belles coach Mark Hamilton said conference play brings a new dynamic that will force the golfers to have a different approach and outlook towards their matches.

“Our young players will get introduced into it, as we have many rounds to compete in coming up,” Hamilton said. “There will be more head-to-head matchups than in the invitational style,”

The Belles have six rounds of conference play between Thursday and Oct. 13. Each match is critical in helping Saint Mary’s attain its goal of winning the conference championship.

On Thursday, the Belles will travel to Olivet to compete against a number of MIAA members. Hamilton said he expects Saint Mary’s will face a number of traditionally strong teams within the conference again this year.

“Hope and Olivet have been our main competitors in the past and I expect that to be the same this year,” Hamilton said.

The Belles are going back up to Olivet this week after playing in the O’Brien Invitational at Warren Golf Course this past weekend. Hamilton said Olivet, while solid throughout its lineup, is particularly strong at the front of its pack.

“Olivet has two very strong players and we need to keep pace with those two,” Hamilton said. “We need a strong third, fourth and fifth golfers in order to compete well against them.”
Saturday, the Belles will face the same competition, but instead travel to Alma for their match.

The first part of Saint Mary’s journey to win the MIAA conference championship begins Thursday, as the Belles travel up to Olivet.

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