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Thursday, June 20, 2024
The Observer

Belles golf lacks consistency, but finds promise in its younger players

Coming off an MIAA Championship and NCAA DIII Championship appearance a year ago, the Belles golf team struggled to find their footing again in the fall of 2022. The team did make some progress and won first place twice in the spring. But head coach Jordan Koehler is not happy with the season's outcome.

“This spring, our team average was the lowest it's been in the last eight years,” Koehler said. “Just with consistency, we kind of saw more of that this spring compared to the fall.”

The spring showed improvement from the team as a whole in consistently low scores. But as Kohler said, “getting four scores better [than] 80 or below probably would be our biggest thing for next year.”

Koehler added, however, that she appreciated the closeness she’s felt with the players this year, her third coaching at SMC.

“Just with traveling you really get to know each other both on and off the course and it's been fun kind of building those relationships off the course and being able to have conversations about anything really outside of golf too,” Koehler said.

As for which individuals stood out during a disappointing year for the team as a whole?

“Erin Bennett and Katelyn Tokarz were two of our most consistent players the entire year, both fall and spring, they're a big reason for our success,” Koehler said.

Bennett, a Senior and Tokraz, a sophomore, often found themselves around or under that 80-stroke threshold Koehler is aiming for. She also added that freshman Julia Lizak was a great addition to the team and a consistent player. She was in the top five of the team for almost all of fall and spring.

“They're definitely motivated, they were a big part of our off-season training and making sure people were in the golf room and actually working nonstop over the winter, a big sort of accountability and they come in and push the older girls as well,” she said about the three freshmen on the team this year — Lizak, Amanda Melling and Breana Harrington. Kohler hopes their development success stories will be the same for next year’s incoming recruits.

Waiting for the fall, Koehler hopes to find the consistency that kept the team from achieving their goals this season.

“Anyone can go and shoot a low score, but doing that consistently two or three days in a row is what we really need out of the younger girls,” Kohler said.