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SMC Golf

Belles open season with local tournament

| Thursday, August 27, 2015

Saint Mary’s opens its 2015 season at the Cross Town Rivalry on Friday and Saturday in South Bend.

The weekend marks the first-ever Cross Town Rivalry. The two-day tournament puts the Belles up against two local rivals, Bethel and Holy Cross. The Belles will host the first round at Knollwood Country Club, while Saturday’s round will be played at Elbel Golf Course.

The Belles are led by just five upperclassmen. Seniors Sammie Averill and Katie Zielinski, along with juniors Courtney Carlson, Rachel Kim and Ali Mahoney, will help ease their young team into tournament play this weekend.

Belles head coach Kim Moore is giving her underclassmen a shot right away. Moore said sophomores Lydia Lorenc and Kaitlyn Cartone and freshman Taylor Kehoe have been named to the Belles’ starting lineup for the event.

“I’m really looking for some good things out of Ali Manoney, Kaitlyn Cartone, Taylor Kehoe, Courtney Carlson and Lydia Lorenc — our Top 5 for this event,” Moore said. “We are really looking forward to getting our first event under our belt and to get this season started.”

The Belles will start their season in their own backyard, and though the neighboring teams will not have to travel far, they will have to adjust their respective games to the tournament’s two courses. Moore said she’s not concerned about the Belles switching courses half-way through the event.

“The layout will be different both days, but the first day we should have a bit of an advantage being that Knollwood is our home course this year,” Moore said. “We play Elbel on Saturday and that is a bit of an unfamiliar course to most of my players, but we have a practice round planned on Thursday out there.

“We will use that practice to get familiar with the hole layouts, the greens and the length.”

In addition to practicing on an unfamiliar course, the Belles will need to prepare for a rain-filled weekend. Despite the weekend’s inclement weather forecast, Moore said her team is always ready for uncontrollable weather while on the course.

“Golf is an outside sport so we are always playing in the elements,” Moore said. “Our team is ready to play in whatever weather condition or course condition that may be. The weather will be a condition that every player will have to deal with, so everyone will be in the same boat. The weather is uncontrollable so we can only worry about and work on the things we can control.”

The Cross Town Rivalry also marks the season-opener for the Belles’ competition. Like Saint Mary’s, Bethel and Holy Cross boast young rosters, and Moore said the event will be a fun way for the teams to get an early look at their hometown competitors.

”I know that Bethel is bringing in a lot of young talent so they should be competitive,” she said. “Holy Cross is a young team and I’m unfamiliar with their roster, but I can guarantee that their head coach, TJ Mannen, will have them playing their best. This is a fun, competitive event against some of the area institutions. It is a great way for me as a coach to get an early look at the players on this year’s team in a competitive atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun.”

Friday’s tee time is set for 2 p.m., and round two is scheduled for Saturday at noon.

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