In its final competition of the informal spring season, Knox’s women’s golf team finished in a tie for second place at the Fighting Scots Spring Invite at Gibson Woods Golf Course in Monmouth, Ill.
Senior Jessica DeMory led the Prairie Fire with a 92—the lowest individual score of the tournament. Senior Rachel Talpers was not far behind with a 96. Sophomore Mia Savard shot a 99 and senior Claire Anderson fired a 112.
On Friday, April 8, Knox hosted the Knox Spring Invitational at Soangetaha Country Club in Galesburg, Ill. The Invitational was originally slated to include three teams: Knox, Augustana College and Monmouth College. Augustana backed out, however, leaving only Knox and Monmouth to compete. Knox’s team total of 392 bested Monmouth’s score of 418.
Talpers and DeMory again led the Prairie Fire. Talpers’ 87 was the best score of the day, and DeMory’s 90 was second.
Men’s golfers turn it around at Augustana
Left in 16th place after the first round of the Augustana Invitational this past weekend, the Knox College Men’s golf team turned things around on day two by playing what is so far their best golf of the year, jumping three spots to finish 13th in the 18 team tournament.
The turnaround was epitomized by the performance of freshman James Fenner. After struggling to a first round 85, Fenner fired a season low 73 in round two, which was the second best score in the field on Saturday.
“I had never seen or played the course before that first round, and could not find my comfort zone,” Fenner said. “My swing felt a lot better that second day, and I finally started to figure out where I wanted to put the ball. My putting got hot too, which always helps.”
Joining Fenner in the 70’s on Saturday were junior Jamie Jang (79) and senior Bobby Steubi (78). Senior A.J. Shule shot an 81, bringing Knox’s total to 311, the fifth-best team score in round two. And, for the first time all season, Knox beat Midwest Conference rival Monmouth, which fired a 312 on day two.
Fenner, Jang and Steubi each finished with a two-day total of 158, with Shule (168) and senior Kevin Morris (174) following up.
Knox’s next tournament is at Illinois College’s Blueboy Invitational at Edgewood Golf Course in Auburn, Ill. this Friday and Saturday.
Men’s tennis drops a pair
The men’s tennis team (2-12, 1-1 MWC) lost twice this past weekend in a pair of matches against St. Ambrose University and conference-foe Lawrence University.
Knox’s lone win over St. Ambrose came from junior Erik Hane (#1), who defeated Santiago Gonzalez 6-4, 3-6, 10-6. In doubles matches Hane and sophomore Shaun Mulani (#1) defeated their opponent 8-5.
On Sunday, the Fire fell 6-3 to the Lawrence Vikings, with singles wins coming from sophomore David Ham, freshmen Max Gatyas and Andrei Papancea. Knox lost all three doubles matches to Lawrence.
“I thought the team played hard this weekend,” said Hane. “We were competitive against two very good teams, and several of our guys came away with great wins. I think we have a lot to be proud of from this weekend.”
Hane added that the team would have been well served to play more consistently and followed the game plan closer, citing his own match in particular as one that got away because of tentative play.
“I think we learned this weekend, above all else, that we are talented enough to hang with very good teams,” Hane said. “I’d love to see this team, as we become more experienced, get better at staying the course when the pressure is on.”
The women’s tennis team split a pair of matches over the weekend, beating Wisconsin Lutheran but falling to conference opponent Beloit College. The Buccaneers defeated the Fire 5-4.
The men’s Prairie Fire will take on the Lake Forest Foresters at home this Saturday at 12 p.m., while the women’s tennis team will face the University of Dubuque at home on April 21 at 4:30 p.m. in their second-to-last match of the season.