Lakers swing for GLIAC championship

GVL Archive / Eric Coulter
Senior Allie Tyler on the Meadows Golf Course

GVL Archive / Eric Coulter Senior Allie Tyler on the Meadows Golf Course

Zach Sepanik

It will be a familiar course and goal for the Grand Valley State University women’s golf team this weekend when it competes in the GLIAC conference championships at Ashland University.

The Lakers will play at the Country Club of Ashland on Friday and Saturday in pursuit of their fourth-consecutive conference title.

“We have played there before,” said senior Allie Tyler. “It’s not like we haven’t seen the course before. It’s not that difficult, and because of the fact we hit the ball so well, we should be able to play well there. The fact that it is at Ashland will definitely give them the home course advantage, but we’ve been playing well enough this year to take home the GLIAC championship.”

Over the weekend, the team will depend on Tyler, junior Sarah Hoffman, sophomores Ashley Beard and Marni Weinstein, and up-and-coming freshman Veronica Ryan.

“I think what gives our team the biggest advantage is no one ever knows who is going to play what spot,” Hoffman said. “Marni could start off playing in the No. 5 spot, but her score could be the third best on the team. Our lineup is so deep we never know who will give us the best score. It is going to be a team effort.”

Although the team has been crowned GLIAC champions for three years in a row and six times in 10 years, the Lakers take no team lightly as they head into the 2011 championships.

“Ashland will definitely be our toughest competition,” said sophomore Danyelle Kauble. “They are pretty good and give us a run for our money every time they play us. They are our No. 1 competition, and we have to watch out for them.”

Just as Ashland has the convenience of playing in its backyard for conference, GVSU has the same potential staring it in the face with nationals this year being played at the Meadows, the Lakers home course.

“We wanted to get better from the fall season, which I think we have,” Tyler said. “In terms of the GLIAC, regional and national championships, there is no reason we can’t win the GLIAC, and we’ll have an advantage at regionals as we played really well at that course in really tough conditions earlier this year. As for nationals, I don’t think any of us want other teams playing on our course when we are not playing.”

While the weather has not exactly cooperated and the team has been forced to practice indoors at times over the past couple weeks, GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux has emphasized the same points she has throughout the year.

“She always emphasizes having a playing focus and worrying about yourself while you’re playing,” Hoffman said. “In a sense, kind of forgetting about what you can’t control and focusing on what you can control.”

Even with all the similarities to past championships, Tyler said she thinks the final day will play a huge role in determining this year’s champion.

“I think it will come down to the last day, which will be new for us because the last three years, we have run away with it,” she said. “This will be a new test for us, but we are looking forward to it.”

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