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SMC Golf: Squad Competes for NCAAs

Alex Barker | Friday, April 25, 2008

Saint Mary’s will put their season on the line this weekend as they continue the MIAA’s conference tournament this weekend in Marshall, Mich.

The Belles currently sit in second place after the first round, just 18 strokes behind Olivet.

Saint Mary’s has proven over the past couple of weeks that it can compete with the best teams in Division III, and hope to automatically qualify for the NCAA Tournament with a first place finish in the conference tournament.

Since the first round of the qualifier, the Belles have finished second at the Vassar Invitational and sixth at the Illinois-Wesleyan Spring Fling.

At the Spring Fling, the team’s improvement was noticeable as Saint Mary’s finished only 7 strokes behind Olivet and shot the same score as the Comets on the final day.

Leading the Belles’ spring charge was freshman Rosie O’Connor and senior captain Katie O’Brien.

In the Vassar Invitational, O’Connor finished second overall, one shot off the lead, in the individual standings. Reigning conference MVP Katie O’Brien, who has led the Belles all season, finished in 16th place.

In the Illinois-Wesleyan tournament both women posted totals of 163 placing them in a tie for 17th overall.

If the Belles fail to pull ahead of Olivet this weekend, their NCAA Tournament hopes still won’t be extinguished. The top teams who do not receive the automatic bid from their conference tournaments will be thrown into a pool where a selection committee will decide which teams will join the automatic bids in the championship.

Based on their previous results, the Belles have a good chance of being selected if it were to come to the selection committee.