The women’s golf team will be playing its conference tournament this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Rockford, Ill. at Aldeen Golf Course. Four-time conference champions, the Prairie Fire hope to secure a spot in the Division III National Championship with a win in Rockford. Statistically, the Prairie Fire are ranked third in the conference.
In the past few years, women’s golf has finished in the bottom half of the conference standings. Last season’s poor finish was due in large part to the absence of the team’s standout seniors Jessica DeMory and Rachel Talpers. Both Talpers and DeMory studied abroad in 2009.
“The girls have been doing a great job this year,” said coach Emily Cline. “Beyond getting back two great players, the rest of the girls have really made progress.”
DeMory was an all-conference selection in each of her first two seasons. Talpers, too, finished on the all-conference team in her last conference tournament in 2008, where she placed third.
But Talpers and DeMory are not the team’s only standouts; sophomore Mia Savard finished in the top twenty at St. Ambrose University’s Fighting Bee Classic. If Savard, Talpers and DeMory perform to their capabilities, Cline is confident the team has a chance to make it back to Nationals for the first time since 2000.
“We have scored a 356 this year, and I really think that we can get under 350,” Cline said. “That’s our goal. At least top three.”
The Prairie Fire’s first tee time will be at 9 a.m. on Friday morning. Saturday morning, play begins at 10 a.m., and on Sunday the tee times will be determined by the results through the first 36 holes of play. Last season, Carroll University won its first Midwest Conference Championship with a three-day score of 1,105.
Women’s tennis rocks IC 9-0
The women’s tennis team rolled at Illinois College 9-0 on Thursday, September 23. IC was shorthanded, forced to forfeit the #5 and #6 singles matches, as well as the #3 doubles. Still, the Prairie Fire routed the matches that were played.
Sophomores Emily Tyl and Sarah Bolitho, freshman Dana Pierce, and junior Megan Funk all recorded singles wins. Doubles pairs of Tyl and Bolitho and Pierce and Funk rolled by scores of 8-0.
The fun didn’t last, however, as the Prairie Fire dropped conference meets against Beloit College and Carroll University, 7-2 and 8-1 respectively. Pierce won her #1 singles match in each meet, notching the only point against Carroll.
The Prairie Fire now stand at 2-8 overall.
Cross country at Forester Invite
Lacking freshman sensation Gabe Moreno due to a hip injury, the cross country team competed in the Forester Invite last weekend. The men’s team finished sixth out of eleven teams – ahead of its only two Midwest Conference foes present, Illinois College and Lake Forest College.
The men were led by sophomore Sean Choate, who finished in 23rd place, two spots and three seconds ahead of senior Ryan Maniscalco. The women’s team took tenth, led by senior Chloe Bohm’s 37th place finish.
Each team will have next weekend off before the Illinois College Invitational in Jacksonville, IL. Two weeks later, the teams will compete in the Midwest Conference Championship on October 30th in Monmouth, IL. Men’s captain Chris Bugajski is confident about the team’s chances.
“We know we have a chance to finish higher than we have in years past,” said Bugajski, a senior from Chicago, Ill. “If we perform the way we should and progress the way we have all season, we think both teams can turn some heads and put Knox cross-country on the map.”