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SMC Golf

Belles prepare for Trine Spring Classic

| Friday, April 10, 2015

Saint Mary’s rounds out its regular season this weekend after a two-week hiatus in the Trine Spring Classic at Zollner Golf Course in Angola, Indiana.

The Belles’ last tournament play resulted in a 13th-place finish at the WUSTL Spring Invitational, with the team finishing just two spots from the bottom of the pack. Belles head coach Kim Moore said she has a more optimistic outlook on this weekend, attributing it to more opportunities for outside practice time over the past couple of weeks.

“We have had some opportunities to get some nine-hole practice rounds in,” Moore said. “I’ve been very impressed with the shots and scores I’ve seen during those sessions.”

The Trine Spring Classic will feature 11 Division III schools, including conference foe Hope, Moore said. Hope leads MIAA standings, averaging 323.3 strokes per tournament, with Saint Mary’s sitting in third place with an average stroke count of 343.2. Hope and Trine are on a roll coming into the Classic, as both earned first-place finishes in their last events. Despite the high level of competition, Moore said she has strong faith in her roster.

“I’m looking for us to have a good team finish,” Moore said. “I think with this field and this course, we can achieve that goal.”

Belles junior Katie Zielinski has recently established herself as one of the highest performers on the Belles squad. Zielinski led the team both at the WUSTL Spring Invitational, where she posted a two-day score of 177, tied for 56th place, and was among the highest performers at the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invite in mid-March. Moore said she expects the junior, who has shown dedication and efficiency in practice, to continue to build upon her earlier success this weekend.

“She has had some really good practice days, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how that relates to her play on the course,” Moore said of Zielinski.

The Trine Spring Classic is the Belles’ last regular season tournament before NCAA Automatic Qualifier rounds for MIAA Regionals. The Belles would earn a spot in the NCAA Automatic Qualifying rounds, should they maintain their third-place standing in-conference. With the end of the season and finals quickly approaching, however, Moore said she wants to make sure the Belles maintain focus.

“We have finals coming up in the first week in May, and there is always a tendency to lose a little focus, knowing that [school] is almost over,” she said.

Moore said she wants the Belles to use the tournament as a way of maintaining focus going into postseason play, with a strong performance giving the team confidence going into tournaments with the best teams in the conference.

Saint Mary’s closes its season this weekend at the Trine Spring Classic in Angola. The Belles are set to tee off at Zollner Golf Course on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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