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SMC Golf: Belles face conference foes in postseason qualifying tourney

Andrew Cardoza | Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today the Belles travel to Holland, Mich., for the MIAA NCAA qualifier to compete for a spot in the postseason national tournament.

“This meet is what the season leads up to,” Belles coach Mark Hamilton said. “We have to realize we belong here and can compete with any teams. We have put in a lot of work this season, and our team knows what we are capable of performing on the golf course.”

In the qualification match, the Belles face competitive play from conference rivals Olivet, Hope, Calvin, Adrain and Trine. The Belles have seen most of their opponents throughout the season tournaments and conference play.

“This will be a great meet to see how much we have grown as a team,” Hamilton said. “This meet gives our players the opportunity to reach for postseason play, which is one our top team goals. I expect nothing but a great team performance and a fantastic day of competition on the green.”

Hamilton is looking for everyone to be on their best game while making sure they improve on their mistakes. This will be the first qualification tournament for the Belles this year.

“We need to work together as a team on the course, we are a team and need to support and encourage each other,” Hamilton said. “Everyone will need to play their personal best and give it their all. The beauty of a qualification meet is it gives you the opportunity to put yourself in the postseason by playing your very best.”

The Belles are coming off a nice performance from the Illinois Wesleyan Spring Fling Tournament in Normal, Ill. In a field of 17 teams that included 10 NGCA top-25 teams, Saint Mary’s rounded out the top five with a fifth-place finish and a two-day team score of 660. The Belles hope to grow from this performance and use it to their advantage in the qualification tournament.

“This meet will not only be a competitive meet but it will be a very big meet for our school,” Hamilton said. “We will learn a lot from this meet and hopefully we will continue to play golf for the next couple of weeks.”

The Belles will not only look for strong performances on the course but they will try to consistently play well as a team.

“Last meet we finished very strong,” Hamilton said. “We need to take that momentum and carry it into this qualification match.”

The MIAA NCAA Qualifier begins Tuesday and will be played in Holland, Mich.