Women’s golf seeks No. 1 national rank

Coty Levandoski

The word “disappointing” has not been synonymous with women’s golf at Grand Valley State for quite some time now, and the upcoming season looks to be no different.

With senior Allie Tyler and junior Sarah Hoffman both returning to the squad, the promising freshmen additions certainly have a solid pair of leaders to guide them.

Last spring, Hoffman took first at three consecutive tournaments; the Buccaneer and Ashland Invitationals, as well as the Drury University Lady Panther Shootout. Honored with All-GLIAC First Team selection, Hoffman shot a 149 ( 5), tying for 2nd place at the GLIAC Championships.

Tyler was no slouch either, earning All-American status along with Hoffman and finishing in seventh place at the regional tournament after finishing with a score of 229 ( 13). In April, Tyler came in 15th with a final tally of 162 ( 18).

“It is an honor to be named an All-American, but it’s not something I am trying to achieve throughout the year,” said Tyler. “In college, golf is as much a team sport as it is an individual sport and our ultimate goal is to win a national championship as a team … all of the individual accolades are just something extra.”

This past May, head coach Rebecca Mailloux was honored as the East Region Coach of the Year by the National Golf Coaches Association for the second straight season, being just one-of-four coaches across the country to receive the accolade. She also walked away with GLIAC Coach of the Year honors by season’s end.

And the Mailloux-effect shows.

On top of yet another Regional Championship and a 26-stroke win at the GLIAC Championship (their third straight league title), the Lakers won by 13 strokes at the Super Region One Tournament in May. Advancing to the Division II Women’s Golf Championships for the third year in a row, the ninth time since the program’s inception, the Lakers finished sixth.

“I hope to see us at the top by the end of the spring,” Tyler said. “We are all trying to win a National Championship and we have come close in years past … But in order to do that, we’re all going to have to play our best golf. “

With immense talent from roster to clipboard and a trophy case being put to good use, the biggest critics of the team happen to be the women themselves. After a steady slide from fifth place after an impressive first day in the NCAA D-II Women’s Golf Championships, consistency may be a something to build upon as a unit.

“All the individual accolades are just something extra,” Tyler said. “I feel like every single one of us on the team can go low on any given day, but we are going to need to put all of those low rounds together to beat some of the better schools in the country.”

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