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SMC Golf: Belles end fall season with second-place finish

Mary Green | Monday, October 14, 2013

The Belles wrapped up their fall season with a second-place finish at the MIAA End-of-Season Weekend Jamboree on Friday and Saturday in Battle Creek, Mich.
The combined scores from the four MIAA jamborees and the weekend’s two-round tournament, in which the Belles shot a 665 total and 327 on Saturday, gave Saint Mary’s the overall second-place award in the conference for the season. Olivet won both the weekend tournament, with a score of 642, and the MIAA championship.
“Overall, I think we did well,” Belles coach Kim Moore said. “The second round, we had our best team score of the fall season, so I definitely can’t complain about that. I felt there were definitely some strokes out there that we kind of left there, but that’s golf. You’re always going to have a bad hole or two.”
Junior Janice Heffernan led the way for the Belles, posting a two-day score of 162 to finish in a tie for fifth place individually. Heffernan’s card included a 75 in the second round, the lowest round for any Belles golfer this season and the best score in the field Saturday.
“I was so excited for her,” Moore said. “I thought she played a great round. She even had a few bad shots in there, too, so she could’ve made it even lower. She really responded and turned it around from her first round [score of 87], so I was really excited for her.”
Senior captain Paige Pollak finished second for Saint Mary’s and seventh overall with her score of 163, and freshman Ali Mahoney took ninth with a 166. Sophomore Sammie Averill tied for 24th, shooting a 177, and senior captain Alexi Bown rounded out the Belles’ scoring with her 178 for 26th place.
Bown also won the MIAA Sportsmanship Award, determined by the conference’s nine head coaches. Bown became the second Belles golfer to earn the distinction.
“It says a lot about her as a person,” she said. “The Sportsmanship Award goes towards somebody’s accomplishments as a person, and in life, that’s what it’s about. Golf is just a game, and there’s so much more to [life], and I think it really speaks volumes to how her peers look at her. It’s a great accomplishment to have.”
Pollak and Heffernan earned spots on the all-MIAA First Team for their play throughout all six conference rounds, and Mahoney was named to the second team.
With its fall season complete, Saint Mary’s heads into a break until its spring season begins in March. NCAA rules prohibit the team from officially practicing until that time, but Moore said she thinks her golfers will keep their practice routines going while getting some much-needed rest.
“I definitely think these girls are competitive, so I’m sure they’ll do some stuff on their own,” she said. “Hopefully, they’ll really utilize this time to get caught up with their studies and really focus academically.”
With a second-place conference finish in the books, the Belles will take a break and hit the links again when their spring schedule begins in March.
Contact Mary Green at mgreen8@nd.edu