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The Scarlet & Black

Women’s golf seeks to defend MWC title

Lauren Yi ’18 is one of the two first-years, along with Sam Hengst ’18, who will help the team defend its Midwest Conference title. Photo by Sarah Trop.

The women’s golf team began its fall season at the Wartburg Fall Invitational, held in Waverly, Iowa, on Sept. 6 and 7. The Pioneers finished in 13th place out of 17 teams.

“We lucked out because of the weather,” said Kayleigh Kresse ’15. “A lot of times in Iowa, we play in rain, and wind and when it’s 40 degrees out. So it really helped that [the weather] was nice this weekend. And I think overall that helped our attitudes and our psyche on the course and made it a lot more enjoyable.”

While there is much room for improvement, head coach David Arseneault hopes the players can reach their potential.

“For our first tournament, I was happy with our scores,” he said. “We will still need to shave at least 10 shots off our daily team total to compete for another conference championship, but I think we can.”

Lauren Yi ’18 is one of the two first-years, along with Sam Hengst ’18, who will help the team defend its Midwest Conference title.  Photo by Sarah Trop.
Lauren Yi ’18 is one of the two first-years, along with Sam Hengst ’18, who will help the team defend its Midwest Conference title. Photo by Sarah Trop.

He also applauded Hailey Speck ’15 for her performance on the field and was impressed by Sam Hengst ’18 for her “outstanding play from tee to green.”

“It was nice for us to be able to go out of town together, especially since we have some first years this year and get to know each other better,” Speck said.

This current season is one to look forward to as the women won the Midwest Conference Championships last year for the first time in school history and will be defending the title. The addition of talented players to the team brings optimism for yet another strong season.

“We’ve added two first-years to the mix—[Hengst and Lauren Yi [’18],” wrote assistant head coach Dave Arseneault Jr. ’09 in an email to The S&B. “Both of these women will immediately step into our lineup and contribute to the team.”

Despite the relatively short golf season, the women will still get a chance to play in a few more tournaments before the MWC Championships. However, the women are already preparing to defend their title as champions from last year.

“Our home course, the Grinnell Country Club, is in the best shape it’s been in the last 20 years,” Arseneault Jr. wrote. “Ultimately, this will help us improve on a daily basis. We will also be playing in several high level tournaments with challenging courses this fall. The hope is that by playing courses like Centennial Oaks (Waverly, Iowa) and Bos Landen (Pella, Iowa), we will be better prepared for the Conference Championships at Aldeen Country Club (Rockford, Ill.).”

To defend the Conference title, the Pioneers have several goals they wish to work on. Arseneault hopes to further improve on the team scores by “[having] five players shooting in the 80s consistently.”

Speck also emphasized that the team is working on improving their short game through practicing putting, chipping and pitching.

“While we certainly have the ability to defend our title, the majority of our success will be determined by how well each person plays, and not necessarily how we compare to other teams in our league,” Arseneault Jr. wrote.

Kresse brought up the fact that each of the six players all have their own strengths and weaknesses and being able to improve on an individual basis will improve the team’s score overall.

“We have a great group of women on the team, and the majority of the players were a part of the 2013 record setting campaign,” Arseneault Jr. wrote.

With determination, the women continue to put their best efforts on the course so that they can bring on another great season. The Pioneers will next compete in the Central College Invitational tomorrow at 9 a.m. in Pella, Iowa.

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