Nebraska City, Neb.–If Monday and Tuesday are any indication of the level of dominance the Statesmen women’s golf team may enjoy next month at the league championships, it will be a great event as the team cruised to an easy win at the Peru State Invitational.
William Penn was first out of nine teams with a two-day tally of 661 (341-320) at the par-72 Table Creek Golf Course. The 21st-ranked Statesmen jumped past their varsity reserve teammates on the final day as the second crew won the silver at 664 (338-326). The best score from a non-WPU team came from Baker at 692 (362-330).
The tournament title is WPU’s fifth of the season and second in a row. Table Creek GC is the host site for next month’s Heart of America Athletic Conference Championships, so this week’s action served as basically a ‘preview’ tourney.
Demi Coertze (Sr., Johannesburg, South Africa, Digital Communication) won her fourth tournament crown of the year convincingly with a 157 (80-77). She and her teammates were seven of the top 10 finishers; no one in the navy and gold placed lower than 18th.
“Demi showed why she is our anchor,” Head Coach Nik Rule said. “She had ice in her veins again; that mentality that has led to two straight individual conference titles was here again and I think she knows what she needs to do to keep it here.”
Brooke Fletcher (So., Atlantic, Iowa, Business Management) followed up a medalist performance at home last week with a second-place effort at 163 (86-77), while Miranda Keeler (So., Plattsmouth, Neb., Communications) tied for 10th at 176 (86-90).
Helene Larsen (Fr., Viborg, Denmark, Business Management), in a tie for 14th at 176 (86-90), and Elise Warne (Fr., Melbourne, Australia, Exercise Science), in a tie for 16th at 177 (91-86), rounded out the varsity team’s showing.
Courtney Cunningham (Jr., Muskogee, Okla., Computer Science) guided the Varsity Reserve team by taking third at 165 (83-82), while Natalie Booton (Sr., Mount Pleasant, Elementary Education) (84-83) and Megan Rhoads (Fr., Schertz, Texas, Psychology) (85-82) shared sixth place at 167.
Jodi Saito (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii, Education), at 169 (90-79), and Jing Yang (Sr., Woodland Hills, Calif., Biology), at 176 (86-90), tied for 10th and 14th, respectively.
Playing as an individual, Alyssa Kerry (Fr., Bend, Ore., Communications) was in the top 20 as well, finishing 18th at 178 (93-85).
“We really wanted to make a statement leading into the conference tournament, being that most of our conference teams were in attendance and that it was at the course we will play,” Rule said. “Conditions were tough, but we battled through and we achieved our goal of finishing 1-2. I am very proud of the way all our players powered through.”
“We are not quite to where we need to be, but we are trending in the right direction,” Rule added. “Our players are really starting to step up and elevate their games; it will make lineup decisions as tough as they have ever been.”
Next Up: William Penn travels to Storm Lake next Saturday and Sunday to compete in the Buena Vista Invitational. Play will be contested at Lake Creek Country Club.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage