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Women’s golf aim to live up to #3 National Ranking

Vidushi Sinha ‘19, co-captain of the women’s golf team, is ranked #12 nationally and has her goals set high for the rest of the season.
Vidushi Sinha ‘19, co-captain of the women’s golf team, is ranked #12
nationally and has her goals set high for the rest of the season. Photo Contributed.

By Papa Kojo Ampim-Darko

The Grinnell Women’s Golf team is enjoying another successful season. Having been ranked number three nationally, the team is looking to carry that momentum through the rest of the season, culminating in a chance to compete at nationals.

Vidushi Sinha ‘19, currently ranked 12th nationally, shared her thoughts on the team’s ranking. “We’re all really excited about it. We had a really good season … but I think we were not expecting it. We were expecting a national ranking, but not third. We’ve all worked really hard and so I think it just happened organically.”

Sinha said there had been changes to the team’s practices which had enabled the athletes to optimize their game further. “I think we’ve been transitioning and we like, built a really strong team this year, with some really great girls,” she said. “Our coach also individualized practice a lot. [So] we practice as team every day, but we do drills specifically. So [we’re] figuring out where our weaknesses are, we do really detailed stuff, statistics sheets, after every round that we play competitively. And so that really helps us like pinpoint exactly what we need to work on every week.”

Head coach David Arsenault Jr. also shared his views on what was responsible for his team’s renewed spark. “The leadership of our fourth-year team captains, Vrishali and Vidushi Sinha, have been instrumental to our team success. On top of that, the individual work by all five of our players and their drive to be great is what has made us successful.” While pleased about the national ranking, Arsenault was quick to point out there was still work to be done. “I’m happy that our players are getting the recognition they deserve for their accomplishments. At the same time, we’re really just focused on improving with each practice and each tournament.”

Speaking about the fall season, in which the team won their sixth straight conference championship, Sinha said “I think, the middle of last season, we went to the previews [to] just get a feel of what the teams are that we could potentially play against at nationals. … We weren’t really expecting much going into the tournament. But the fact that we won it was a really big boost [for] the team. And then after that we were a lot more motivated than we already were before that. [So] that belief that we could be really highly ranked was a big motivator and then … everyone like wanted to be there more than usual.”

The team just returned from the Washington University invitational tournament, where they placed 4th in a field that contained multiple nationally ranked teams. “It was … our first real tournament of the spring season, and so like it’s kind of like a warm up tournament for us. … The first day wasn’t good but we were able to turn that around pretty quickly.” Sinha said.

Arsenault was similarly pleased with the team’s showing. He said, “For us to finish fourth was a good showing. I was especially pleased with the way the team responded on day two of the tournament.”

Looking forward, Sinha is hoping the team’s success continues. “I think all of us going into this season just had one goal, that was to play well so we have a chance to make it to nationals. … This is [the] last season for me and my sister [Vrishali Sinha], so hopefully that works out.”

The Pioneers are back in action on this Saturday in Bloomington, IL for the Illinois Wesleyan Spring Fling.

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