Saint Mary’s places third in opening tournament
Manuel De Jesus | Monday, September 1, 2014
After two days of competition at the Olivet Labor Day Tee-Off tournament, the Belles finished in third place with an overall score of 694, 26 shots behind second-place finisher Olivet.
The Belles were led this weekend by senior Janice Heffernan, who earned a spot on the all-tournament team after finishing fifth individually with a score of 159 over the weekend. Her second-day score of 78 was also the second-best individual score of the day. Finishing behind Washington University in St. Louis, who finished first in the WGCA Division III rankings in the spring, and MIAA conference rival Olivet, the Belles have started out strong this season, coach Kimberly Moore said.
“This team has really come together and has gelled extremely well,” Moore said.
Sophomore Ali Mahoney combined rounds of 86 and 81 on the first and second days, respectively, finishing in 11th place individually. Sophomore Courtney Carlson followed her up in the standings, shooting a 179 that put her in 22nd place. The fourth eligible golfer for the Belles, freshman Lydia Lorenc, recorded a two-day score of 193 and landed in 29th place, while freshman Kelsey Conkright had a tournament score of 199 and earned a share of 31st place.
Moore had previously said she has high expectations for the Belles this season and after their first tournament, she said she believes that they are on the right path.
“Going into my second season my expectations of this year’s Belles team is very high,” Moore said. “We are a very young team with one senior, one junior, three sophomores and three freshman. We have lost a lot of good experience, but have gained a great deal of potential major contributors for the next few years. Our young team will be forced into learning the college game very early and that will lead to some great experience and leadership down the road.”
Looking ahead to late September, when MIAA play begins, Moore said she is optimistic about the Belles’ chances of winning the conference title for the first time since 2010.
“My message to my team early on in this brand new season is to be as focused as you can in practice, so that all of our practices can be as productive as possible,” Moore said. “Also, [my advice is] to not be afraid of giving each other advice and helping each other out. The attitude going into this season is very optimistic. With the addition of fellow Indiana Section PGA Professional, Kasi Hornback, as our assistant coach, our goals of leading this young team to a conference championship will be on the top of our priority list this fall.”
The Belles take the next step in their endeavor to become the MIAA conference champions when they step onto the Warren Golf Course September 14 and 15 to host the O’Brien National Invitational.