Women’s Golf: Warhawks place third at home tournament

 

By Kevin Cunningham

After winning the UW-Whitewater Fall Classic three of the last four years, the Warhawks women’s golf team took third in the 12-team tournament this past weekend.

Carthage College took first in the tournament, shooting a team score of 653. St. Francis took second with a 660, and the Warhawks took third, shooting 664. No team in the WIAC finished within 20 strokes of the ’Hawks.

Sophomore Sammie Leibham led all UW-W golfers with a 162, which earned her eighth place individually for the tournament. Freshman Kayla Asleson shot 166 after a round of 76 on Saturday to garner ninth place.

Asleson’s round of 76 on Saturday marked the second-best score of the entire tournament and was her first collegiate round shooting in the 70s.

The team sent out two teams for the Fall Classic, the first consisting of Leibham, Asleson, senior Catherine Hiltenbrand, junior Claudia Rhein and junior Sarah Bregant.

The second team, which finished in 10th, was made up of freshman Caitlin Byerly, juniors Karlee McCue, Kate Winkler, and Vivian Shoemaker, and freshman Katie Kelly, among others.

Head coach Brett Weber is in his 13th season as the man in charge and knows what it will take from his girls to finish on top of the WIAC Championship in two weeks.

“It’s a cumulative effort,” Weber said. “[The first team] has played together for four tournaments now. It’s Sarah Bregant posting a solid round like she can do. Claudia [also] has a tremendous amount of talent and potential. If she plays well, we’ll all play well.”

The first team of Leibham, Bregant, Rhein, Hiltenbrand and Asleson have individually had their share of ups and downs so far this season, but Weber knows that Hiltenbrand has put together a  fantastic senior season thus far.

“Catherine’s been a nice, pleasant surprise for her senior year,” Weber said. “Not so much that she hasn’t had the ability to do it, but she’s really motivated to finish her senior year on a strong note.Over the last year, she’s become a lot more confident, and her golf swing hasn’t changed one iota since she’s been here. She’s been a great leader for us.”

The only freshman of the five, Asleson, was pleased with her weekend and knew that she could be in for something special on Saturday.

“I played my personal best [on Saturday] and before that, my personal best was an 81, so I kind of blew that out of the ballpark,” Asleson said. “I was very consistent, and I was hitting the ball very well. I double-bogeyed hole nine for a 38, so I kind of knew that if I could keep getting pars, it would be good. My drives off the tee and my second shots were great.”

The ’Hawks have one final tournament, the UW-Stevens Point Invite, before the WIAC Championship. As the case has been all season, Weber has high expectations for his team heading into the Invite in Stevens Point, Wis.

“We have four different girls that have posted a score in the 70s now, and Claudia’s the only one who hasn’t, but I think she’s our most talented golfer,” Weber said. “It’s a matter of going out there, executing and believing what we do. We’re shooting 320s. If you average 320 across the board for a year, you’re a really good golf team.”

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