SMC enters pivotal meet
Manuel De Jesus | Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Saint Mary’s will have to turn in a strong performance this weekend at Adrian in order to get back into MIAA conference championship contention.
The Belles finished fourth Tuesday at the Ravines Golf Club in Saugatuck, Michigan and slipped to third in the standings after starting the day in second. Hope is currently in first place after winning its third consecutive MIAA Jamboree. In order to take over first place this weekend, the Belles need to best Hope by more than 48 strokes. With only three more days left of conference play, time is running out for the Belles.
“Obviously, it is disappointing to now be two strokes from second, but we still have three more rounds and anything can happen,” Belles coach Kimberly Moore said. “Yesterday we had our worst putting performance of the season, so I am extremely confident that we can do better this weekend and next weekend to secure a spot in the top four.”
Despite their drop in the standings, the Belles were still able to celebrate senior Janice Heffernan’s performance Tuesday after she finished the round in first place as an individual. She was able to beat out two other golfers from Hope and Trine by a single stroke, scoring a six-over-par 78 on the day.
“Janice is a great player and has been a key contributor for the past few years,” Moore said. “She seems extremely focused going into this weekend, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she has another good showing.”
Heffernan has consistently led the Belles throughout the year, posting the lowest score for the team in all but one of the six tournaments the Belles have attended.
At the MIAA Jamboree hosted by Alma on Sept. 27, Saint Mary’s finished second. Sophomores Courtney Carlson and Ali Mahoney took the lead for the Belles, scoring 78 and 79, respectively, while Heffernan struggled. At the Ravines, however, every golfer besides Heffernan posted a score in the 90s.
There are only three rounds of play left in conference competition, which takes place in the form of MIAA Jamborees, and Moore said it’s time for the Belles to separate themselves as a top squad.
“We are now at the halfway point of our Jamborees, and now is the time when the top-tier teams start separating,” Moore said. “Our goal is to continue playing the best we can and making sure we finish in that top four. I am really looking forward to seeing how things unfold.”
Aiming to move up in the standings, the Belles will tee off Saturday at the Lenawee Golf Course in Adrian, Michigan at 1 p.m.