Women’s golf looking for regional title
If the first version of this year’s Central Region rankings are any indication, Augustana women’s golf is the class of the NSIC.
Augustana was ranked highest of the five NSIC teams named in the release, with no other conference foe in the top-10.
Assistant coach Kaari Speer believes the season has gone well so far, but the team hasn’t “gotten into our best golf yet.”
“It’s promising,” Speer said. “But our next breath is that we have to get into our best golf here because conference is [soon] and regionals are a few weeks away, and we want to put our best foot forward.”
Junior Sierra Langlie says she believes the team is in a good spot now but that there’s always room for improvement.
“Overall, I think we’re still trying to figure a few things out,” Langlie said. “Personally I think I could perform a little better, but as a team I think we’re doing well. We have four freshmen, and they’re still trying to get into the swing of things. But I think it is good because we’re getting closer as a team. We just need to finish strong.”
Junior Emily Israelson, was named the NSIC Women’s Golfer of the Week before Easter break, thinks the Vikings has what it takes to make it through the Super Regional tournament but acknowledged they will need to play better to reach that goal.
“There is always room for improvement,” Israelson said. “We definitely have to sharpen up our games before postseason with more repetitions and just build our confidence.”
So what will it take to get through the NSIC Championship and make it to the NCAA Super Regional tournament?
“We really focus on staying in the present,” Speer said. “Not trying to focus on the next shot, but the shot at hand. Every year at regionals it comes down to the last hole, so it’s really important that we stress every shot of every day matters, not just the last day.”
Augustana will host the three-day NCAA Super Regional tournament at the Minnehaha Country Club in May.
“We try not to think ahead of time and focus on postseason,” Speer said. “But it’s always a goal to win conference, make it to regionals, win regionals and go to nationals. This year is a little unique in the sense that regionals is here in Sioux Falls. So it’s kind of a home event.”
Speer said a home meet means more pressure but also more support from fans and athletes alike, which should offset any additional pressure.
“I think that will be really good for us because it will give us a little bit more fire,” Speer said.
Before the Vikings can start thinking about the regional tournament they have to get through the NSIC Championship this weekend in Morton, Minn.
“We’re still relatively young even though we have three juniors [and] one senior,” Speer said. “Since we have freshmen making such a big impact you still feel that sense of youth on our roster. But we’ve won conference a lot, so that’s the first goal before we can get to regionals is just to head to Morton and put together three really good days of golf.”