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ND Women’s Golf

Notre Dame tees off the fall season at Mary Fossum Invite

| Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Irish will kick off their season this weekend, Sept. 12 and Sept. 13, by returning to the Mary Fossum Invitational at Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Michigan, where a year ago they were tournament champions.

The Irish are coming off an NCAA South Bend Regional appearance in May, where they earned an eighth-place finish out of 18 teams. Even though the Irish failed to advance to the next round of the NCAA tournament, Irish head coach Susan Holt had high praise for her team.

“We’ve got three returning players who played in every event last year. [Senior] Talia [Campbell] has actually played in every tournament since she’s been on campus, same with [junior] Jordan Ferreira,” Holt said. “We have a lot of experience, which is huge. I expect us to pick up where we left off.”

While the Irish lost Ashley Armstrong and Kelli Oride to graduation, senior captain Talia Campbell returns with the team’s lowest stroke average of the spring season at 73.39 per round. In the spring, Campbell also brought home one top-five finish and two top-10 finishes.

Junior Jordan Ferreira will also serve as a leader on the team in the absence of Armstrong and Oride. Ferreira finished the spring season with a stroke average of 74.83 per round and will play No. 2 for the Irish this weekend. Sophomore Kari Bellville will also travel with the Irish. As a freshman, she averaged 77.37 per round in the spring.

New additions for the Irish include freshmen Maddie Rose Hamilton, Isabella DiLisio and Emma Albrecht, all of whom were ranked by the American Junior Golf Association in the top-50 high school golfers in the country last year. Holt said all three are high achievers and that she is very excited to finally see them compete for the Irish. If there was any question about their ability to compete at the next level, Holt said their transition has been smooth and expects they will be key contributors beginning with the first fall tournament.

“The transition is challenging, you have class and then golf and [the stress of] qualifying rounds,” Holt said. “When you are a freshman on campus, you have more demands on your time, both as a student and as a student-athlete. I think [the freshmen] have handled it well, and they have a lot of playing experience so they can fit right in and compete.”

Michigan State will host the Mary Fossum Invitational for the 32nd straight year. The Spartans were the champions of the Big Ten in 2014 and are Notre Dame’s biggest competition for the tournament championship. Other teams in the field this weekend include Toledo, Western Michigan and Ohio University. Ferreira said she believes the team is in the right state of mind to go into the weekend ready to win.

“We are entering this tournament focused on making smart decisions in order to play our best each round,” Ferreira said, and she said going forward, “Our goal is to give ourselves the opportunity to win each tournament we play in.”

Ferreira said the bond the players all have with each other, since they are one of the smaller teams at Notre Dame, will help them support each other throughout the season and will be a key to their success.

“We are confident entering this tournament and the season,” Ferreira said. “I love my teammates; everyone is competitive and wants the whole team to succeed.”

The Irish commence their fall season this Saturday at the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Michigan.

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