The UT women’s golf team knows how important the upcoming Mid-American Conference Championship is. The tournament takes place April 27-29 at Walden Ponds Golf Course in Indian River.
In her third year at the helm, UT head coach Nicole Hollingsworth has transformed UT’s golf program into a contender in the MAC. This season, Toledo won four team tournaments, three individual titles, finished second three times and has finished in the top 5 nine of the 11 tournaments played.
But Hollingsworth and her team know how much this tournament counts.
”To the normal public, this sums up our year in three days,” Hollingsworth said.
The Rockets philosophy of team first and individual accomplishments second will be key to overthrowing Kent State University in the championship.
The Golden Flashes won every conference title in the past seven years of women’s golf in the MAC. This year, Kent State has won two tournament team titles and three of their golfers are ranked in the top three in the conference.
The two schools only met this season at the Shootout at the Legends in October. The Rockets finished fifth while the Golden Flashes won the tournament and Kira Meixner won the individual title for the Flashes.
Kim Kester, a junior who won her first individual collegiate title at the Eastern Kentucky Spring Invitational earlier this month, and ranks seventh overall in the MAC, said she is tired of seeing KSU winning all the time and would like to see her team win the title instead.
”It’s really important, were all excited,” Kester said. ”We want to knock off Kent State; they have won it too many years now. You always want to go out with a bang. To win the MAC tournament, and get an NCAA bid, that’s what we want to do.”
Sophomore Tammy Clelland has been one of the standout players for the Rockets in her first year by capturing two titles, leading the team in lowest score average (75.71) and ranking fifth overall in the MAC standings.
She said she knows how much this means to the team if they can pull off the victory.
”It would be really good,” Clelland said. ”We would like to finish off the season on a high note; hopefully this will be our tournament. We want to win it, we’re definitely going into it very prepared.”
Defeating the Kent State juggernaut and winning its first MAC tournament title would make this season special.
”We’re going to prepare as hard as we can, we’re going to be the most prepared team going into the championship,” Hollingsworth said. ”Hopefully we can put it all together and have a good tournament.”