Belles finish second in MIAA automatic qualifier
Joe Everett | Friday, May 13, 2016
Saint Mary’s season ended with a second-place finish in the MIAA’s automatic qualifier on April 30, as top-seeded Hope beat out the Belles for the trip to nationals.
The Belles finished their season on a high note, however, winning the final round of the three-round qualifier with a score of 320, a season-best mark for the team. With the team’s scoring average almost a 20-stroke improvement from last year, the program has been trending upwards, evident by top-four finishes in both the spring and the fall. Belles head coach Kim Moore said she was proud of the special season she and her team experienced together.
“Overall, I felt that this season was one of the most successful seasons I’ve had since I’ve been at Saint Mary’s,” Moore said. “I felt that throughout this season we had our ups and downs — some players played well in the first half of the season and not so well the second and vice-versa — but overall, I felt our team really came together and played some very competitive golf. Their cohesiveness helped them be themselves, play together and ultimately play for each other. … Each player was playing for the success of this team as a whole.”
Moore said she will look for the team to carry that success into next year’s campaign. Although the Belles will lose seniors Katie Zielinski and Sammie Averill, Moore said she expects her returning players to all improve their individual games and help to continue building a strong culture within the program.
“We are going to be missing a few important pieces to the puzzle, but the returners have seen what the cohesiveness of a team can do for its success,” Moore said. “I have no doubt that they will take the incoming freshman under their wing and introduce them to the culture we’ve created. I want our returners to work hard this summer on their short game and mental game … to use this season as motivation to continue the hard work they have put in so that we can really build on the success we have created.”
Although Moore is already thinking of next season, Moore said her team should be proud of this season, too.
“I am proud of all of my players,” Moore said. “It is not easy to go through an athletic season as a student-athlete, especially at Saint Mary’s. They have proven, athletically and academically, that they have the discipline and dedication to be successful at both. That’s the beauty of Division III athletics: Student athletes can really do it all, and my players are prime examples of that philosophy.”