Women’s Golf: Golfers take tenth, look toward Fall Fling

 

By Kevin Cunningham

After a lackluster performance a week ago in the Olivet Fall Invite, the Warhawks women’s golf team took a step forward this past weekend, placing 10th out of a 21-team field.

Assistant coach Nicole Westcott, who was golfing for the Warhawks just a season ago, stepped up and took over the reigns as assistant coach during the offseason.

Westcott made it clear that a bounce back tournament this past weekend in the Illinois Wesleyan Fall Classic was necessary for the team.

“The team was very disappointed in themselves [a week ago],” Westcott said. “They wanted to play well last weekend, and the course played very difficult. We wanted to stay where we were after the first day [this weekend], but we did drop a couple spots. Overall, I think we played pretty good.”

Junior Catherine Hiltenbrand was one of the bright spots for the ’Hawks. Hiltenbrand broke 80 for the first time of her collegiate career, shooting a 79 on day one.

Hiltenbrand’s posted an 86 for a two-day score of 165, which marked another collegiate best. With her performance over the weekend, Hiltenbrand earned UW-W golfer of the week honors.

Hiltenbrand’s first-day 79 marked the third sub-80 score for a round of golf for the ’Hawks this season.

Sophomore Sammie Liebham finished in second for the team after the first day, shooting an 81, while junior Sarah Bregant matched Leibham’s score.

Leibham completed the tournament totaling a 164, which led the ’Hawks, tying her for 31st in the 111-golfer field.

“This was a really good field that we played against,” Leibham said. “We weren’t expecting to take first. [Sunday] I started off really well with pars, but then I had a couple of bad holes and just couldn’t recover from it. I was happy with how we golfed on Saturday.”

The ’Hawks may have had a middle-of-the-road placing in the Illinois Wesleyan Fall Classic, taking 10th, but the team is looking forward to playing on their home course in the UW-Whitewater Fall Classic, starting Friday, Sept. 20, in Delavan, Wis.

“We’re hoping to win it,” Westcott said. “It’s our home course, and we’ve always done well at our own tournament. We do have a strong field though this year, which is exciting, competing against some great schools. We’re going out, hoping we can shoot our lowest of the season.”

The ’Hawks have traditionally performed well in their own tournament, placing first in two of the last three seasons. The team finished third in the tournament two years ago.

To give the ’Hawks some perspective as to where they sit in the WIAC, some teams to look for in the UW-Whitewater Fall Classic are UW-Platteville and UW-Stevens Point. The team also will test how good they are against a strong out-of-conference foe in Carthage College.

A season ago, the ’Hawks finished one stroke behind UW-Stout for the WIAC Championship, so the team knows what it has to shoot in order to compete with the other top teams within the conference.

“I like to see the team around the 325 mark,” Westcott said. “These girls definitely have the potential. We’re hoping to come out in this next tournament and do well. Ultimately, our goal for the season is to do well at conference and get the bid for nationals.”

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