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SMC Golf: Belles win MIAA conference crown

Meaghan Veselik | Monday, October 12, 2009

The No. 2 Belles took back their title as MIAA champions this weekend as they won their fifth conference championship Saturday with a 329 in the one-round finale at Bedford Valley Country Club in Battle Creek, Mich. Freshman Martyna Mierzwa earned medalist honors at the championship as well as the title of season medalist and MIAA Most Valuable Golfer honors for the season.

Saint Mary’s held the title of conference champions from 2002-2005, and was 13 strokes ahead of three-time defending champion Olivet. The Belles entered the competition 17 strokes ahead of the Comets, who shot a 342 Saturday for a season total of 1650. Saint Mary’s posted a stroke total of 1620, a 324 average for the fall season.

Hope came in third overall, with a season total 1699 strokes and a 344 for the day. Trine followed in fourth with 1812 after shooting 368 Saturday, Calvin with 386 for the day for a total of 1867. Albion took sixth with a 402 on the day and a 1905 overall, Alma in seventh after shooting 390 on the day and a total 1943 and Kalamazoo shot a 400 for a season of 1946. Adrian rounded out the day in the ninth and final spot with a 396 for the day and a 2010 on the whole.

Mierzwa shot a 78 for the day to take her place as the youngest golfer in school history to earn the league honors of Championship and season medalist. She also set a MIAA record of lowest scoring average in the fall season with her average of 76.8 per MIAA round. A former Belles player, Julia Adams, previously held the record in 2004 with a 79.4 average. It is only the second time an MIAA golfer has averaged lower than and 80 on the season.

Saint Mary’s junior Mary Kate Boyce finished the season on a high note in third overall with her score of 81. Sophomore Natalie Matuszak followed in sixth off of her 84. Junior Rosie O’Connor shot an 86 to put her in ninth place, and land her, as well as the Belles top three golfers, a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Senior Perri Hamma rounded out Saint Mary’s top five golfers with a 99 for the day.

Mierzwa, Boyce and Matuszak were named to the All-MIAA First Team while O’Connor was named to the All-MIAA Second team. Saint Mary’s has not had three players named as First Team honorees since the fall 2004 season.

By winning the championship, the Belles earned the right to host the final two of three MIAA tournaments to determine the league’s automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament in May 2010.