GVSU women’s golf places ninth at University of Indianapolis Fall Invitational

GVL/Sara Carte - Alex Taylor putts the ball on the ninth hole during the Davenport Invitational at the Blythefield Country Club on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015.

Sara Carte

GVL/Sara Carte – Alex Taylor putts the ball on the ninth hole during the Davenport Invitational at the Blythefield Country Club on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015.

Danny Schwartz

The Grand Valley State women’s golf team finished with a team score of 616 at the University of Indianapolis Fall Invitational, finishing in ninth place at the two day event, Sept. 12-13.

The Lakers stayed competitive in the first day, finishing in fifth place. In the second and final day, they struggled, shooting a 315 and dropping to ninth in the highly competitive field. Seven of the 17 teams in the field were present at the Division II National Championship last spring, where the Lakers finished fourth. Dallas Baptist won the event after shooting a team-low 285 on the day to surge past host Indianapolis, which led the field after Monday’s round.

“I thought the girls played really well on the first day,” said GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux. “Our lineup for this event had two freshmen in it, so we’re pretty young. For us to come out in the first tournament of the year and shoot 301 on the first day, I was very happy with that.”

The Lakers didn’t come out as strong on the second and final day, but the tournament was the strongest field they’ll see all year.

“Obviously we would’ve liked to finish a little bit higher and gone out with a better performance in the last day, but now is not the time where we need to shine,” Mailloux said. “We’ll use it as motivation to get better.”

The Lakers are coming off of a strong season last year that saw former GVSU golfer Gabrielle Shipley win an individual Division II national championship, which is considered by many in the program to be the most successful one yet.

“I think you could argue that last season was the best in GVSU women’s golf history,” Mailloux said. “Just based on finishing fourth at the national championships, having an individual win a national championship, breaking multiple records and many postseason awards. With that in mind, it’s going to be tough going in and trying to compare to last year.”

After shooting a 301 in yesterday’s initial round, the Lakers were in fifth place with good position to move ahead, but slipped up on Tuesday and moved back to ninth.

Freshman Katie Chipman was the top scorer for GVSU, carding a 74-78-152 final score and finishing tied for 23rd overall. Senior Alex Taylor finished with a 155 (73-82) tying teammate Samantha Moss (77-78). Maria Sol Pose, a freshman from Argentina, finished with 156, while Julie Guckian turned in a 158 by shooting a 76-82. Freshman Morgan Janke-Wolff, who competed as an individual, followed up a round of 82 after day one with an 85 in her second round, finishing at 167.

Katharina Keilich of Indianapolis was the individual winner with a score of 141 (-3).

Guckian is very optimistic about the season, and believes consistency is key.

“I thought we played pretty well on day one in fifth place,” she said. “Conditions were great all weekend so that wasn’t an issue. It seemed like more people on the team seemed to struggle on day two, including myself. That’s just how golf goes, you can play great one day and not really have it the next.”

Senior Alex Taylor is believes the first tournament was something to learn from.

“For myself, I had a really good first day. The second day I got a little nervous and tentative and didn’t trust myself. I think the freshmen handled the pressure really well. We didn’t have the best second day, but overall it was a good start.”

The Lakers see action next Sept. 24-25, when they host the eighth annual Gilda’s Club Laker Fall Invitational at the Meadows Golf Course.