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SMC Golf: Postseason hopes in NCAA’s hands

Alex Barker | Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The season hangs in the balance for Saint Mary’s until May 5 when an NCAA selection committee will determine the fate of the Belles’ post-season lives.

The Belles finished as the runner-up in the MIAA conference tournament, placing them into a group of teams vying to receive an at-large bid into the NCAA national championship May 13-16 at the Centennial Oaks Golf Club in Waverly, Iowa.

There are a total of three spots open for at-large teams who did not receive their conference’s automatic bid.

Belles coach Mark Hamilton said he likes his team’s chances of receiving one of those spots.

“The first two spots are pretty much wrapped up by higher-ranked teams that failed to win their conferences,” Hamilton said. “But with our recent performances against higher-ranked opponents, I think we have a very good chance of capturing the final spot.”

One of the Belles’ best performances of the season came in the MIAA tournament last weekend.

After the first round of play, the Belles found themselves down 18 strokes to No. 10 Olivet.

However, in the final two rounds, Saint Mary’s showed great improvement by shooting the lowest score of each round.

“It was a pretty gutty performance by our team, but the first-round deficit proved to be too great,” Hamilton said. “We beat the No. 10 team on its own course and that is a pretty big feat.”

If the Belles are fortunate enough to receive an at-large bid into the national championship tournament, they will certainly have their work cut out for them. However, they have beaten many higher-ranked teams already this season and will not hold anything back in trying to do it one last time.