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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Women’s Golf impresses against ranked competition

Nina Kouchi ’22 tees off in her latest competition.

By Seth Bartusek

The Grinnell women’s golf team came to play Sunday in their first mid-season test of the season. The Pioneers teed off against three nationally-ranked opponents, setting a school record score of 604 over two days and a one-day school record score of 69. They finished second out of a group of 11 teams, defeating DePauw University, Illinois Wesleyan and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, respectively ranked 11th, 15th and 25th.

Nina Kouchi ’22 broke the one-day stroke school record with a score of 69, three-under-par, to beat the previous record of 70. In addition to Kouchi, Vrishali Sinha ’19 was tied for fourth going 71-76-147 and Vidushi Sinha ’19 finished 10th at 76-75-151. The team’s two-day score of 604 beat a previous school record of 613, making this an eventful weekend for the group and an early triumph in an exciting season.

“I think it was a great experience for our team,” Vrishali Sinha said. “It’s nice to know, as a fourth-year, that this team is playing as a team and working together.”

Their success makes them the squad to beat going in to mid-season; Grinnell was picked to win the Midwest Conference title for the sixth straight year and the team has not disappointed so far. While the conference has known about the Sinha twins, key players of the group who set the second-best score in league history last year, the emergence of first-year Nina Kouchi in last weekend’s tournament was somewhat of a surprise and bodes well for the future of the team.

“Having our first-year win the individual title is great for our team,” Vidushi Sinha said. “She deserved it for that great performance and we get to keep a title we’ve won for the last three years.”

The Sinha sisters both agreed that the team was firing on all cylinders in a way it hadn’t in years prior.

“I’ve felt like we’ve always had really strong players on our team,” Vrishali Sinha said. “But we’re getting to a point where we can all shoot consistently as a team and I think now we are visibly better and can put up good scores as a team. But it’s really nice to get a win for everyone.”

While the team is undeniably off to a hot start, they will face their toughest challenge yet this coming week. The NCAA will host its Division III tournament preview in Houston, Texas on Monday and Tuesday. The field will feature a variety of Division III schools all eyeing the national tournament in January.

“We have three tournaments left, but this weekend in Houston is going to be really exciting,” Vidushi Sinha said. “This is going to be a really good chance because if we get the scores we could have a good chance to make nationals which would be very exciting.”

Nina Kouchi ’22 tees off in her latest competition.
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