Belles take 14th at Kathy Niepagen Spring Fling
Tony Zappia | Tuesday, April 19, 2016
This past weekend, Saint Mary’s traveled to Ironwood Golf Club in Normal, Illinois, to participate in the Illinois Wesleyan Kathy Niepagen Spring Fling and finished 14th amongst 21 teams.
Junior Ali Mahoney led the way for the Belles on day one, shooting a 10-over 82. Freshman Taylor Kehoe was not far behind carding a 12-over 84. The Belles’ other three scorers all broke 90, as sophomore Kelsey Conkright recorded a 14-over 86, junior Courtney Carlson shot a 15-over 87 and senior Sammie Averill finished with a 17-over 89. The combined team score of 339, however, was not what Belles head coach Kim Moore was hoping for on Saturday.
“I felt day one we didn’t play very well, and that set us back going into day two,” Moore said. “Day two we played much better. Still left a lot of shots out there but overall much better. However, after day one, we had a lot of catching up to do, and with the teams in this field, it was a very tough task.”
Saint Mary’s scored much better Sunday, combining for a total of 326, which was a 13-stroke improvement over Saturday’s performance. Kehoe led the charge recording a 6-over 78. Averill contributed a 10-over 82 to the Belles’ total, and Carlson and Mahoney shot matching 11-over 83s. Conkright rounded out the team score with her 15-over 87. Following Sunday’s round, Moore said she was pleased with the individual efforts of several players.
“I was pleased with the consistency from Taylor Kehoe and Ali Mahoney,” Moore said. “Taylor led our team with a second-round 78 and a total of 162, which put her in the top 40 [overall]. Ali Mahoney put together a better two days, which she needed to get back to, and that helped us shoot a better score on day two.”
The Belles will look to bounce back in a week’s time as they head into the conference’s automatic-qualifying tournaments. Moore said the upcoming tournament is important, and she will be doing everything she can to have her team prepared.
“We don’t play again until April 26, so I’m looking to use this week of practice to really mimic competition mode,” Moore said. “I’m going to incorporate and mimic some pressure within our drills at practice. This week of practice is going to be extremely important going into our NCAA automatic-qualifying rounds.”
When the Belles do hit the links next, they will be playing in the first of three NCAA qualifying rounds to determine who will represent the MIAA as the automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament. The first of these tournaments will be hosted by Olivet on April 26 at Medalist Golf Club in Marshall, Michigan.