GV women’s golf places in top-five in first invite of the season


Courtesy / GVSU Athletics

Jason Millis, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s women’s golf team opened the 2022 fall season at the Indianapolis Fall Invitational last week, finishing the invite in fifth place overall. 

Sept. 12-13 saw the Lakers tee-off at a disadvantage, with junior Kay Zubkus out due to a surgical procedure that will likely keep her out of play for the season. 

With only four players to compete compared to the standard five, the Lakers were forced to play from the final scores of all four players, versus the traditional option of being able to drop the lowest score of a five-player roster.

Despite the disadvantage, GVSU clinched fifth place in the invite, which consisted of sixteen total teams. The Lakers finished with a score of 900 (+36) in the 54-hole event. 

Lakers’ head coach Rebecca Mailloux said she felt pleased with the results considering the fierce competition in the invitational, including Findlay University, the defending national champions.

“It’s not too bad of a start,” Mailloux said. “The four teams that finished ahead of us are, in my opinion, in the top-10 teams in the country. Finishing fifth at another event wouldn’t feel so good, but in this field, it wasn’t that bad.”

GVSU was led by sophomore Olivia Stoll, who tied for third place with a score of 210 (-6). Even though Stoll believes she came off of a rough week of practice leading up to the invite, she was able to secure a solid individual victory in the end.

“Going into the tournament, I told myself just to go out and play golf,” Stoll said. “I did my best not to get too nervous about it. I just hit shots and took it one shot at a time.”

Although the remaining three Lakers were not able to finish at the top of the leaderboards, resilience and determination from the bunch allowed for the team to place top-five overall.

Sophomore Paula Badino tied for 29th as she shot a score of 229 (+13), as sophomores Megan Miron (230, +14) and Julia Sanchez (231, +15) tied for 31st and 33rd, respectively.

While the Lakers struggled against out-of-conference opponents in the invitational, the team came out on top of familiar conference rivals, including Wayne State University (10th overall) and Ferris State University (13th overall). 

However, according to coach Mailloux, the Lakers don’t analyze their overall performance through conference matchups, but what the team can produce when going against high-caliber national opponents. 

“We always expect to win the conference championship,” Mailloux said. “That’s not where we gauge how we’re playing. It’s the competition we see at the national level.” 

With a shaky start to the season and carrying the weight of being down a player going into the remaining invites this fall, the Lakers will hope to carry their momentum into this upcoming weekend as they are set to compete in the Bulldog Invitational.

“I think it’s going to be a good tournament for us,” Stoll said. “Everyone is ready for it. We took things away from this tournament that we need to improve and we’re all working to get ready for it.”

The women’s team is scheduled to travel to Big Rapids Saturday, Sept. 24, to co-host the tournament with Ferris State University.