The women’s golf team isn’t just looking to win their region again for the fourth year in a row. They are looking forward to a shot at the national title with a few new faces.
“I think we can definitely get to nationals again,” junior Maggie Leland said.
“We know what we are going to have to do to get there, so we are just setting our goals and seeing what we can do throughout the winter to make sure we can get there in the spring.”
The women play the first half of the conference tournament now, and the second half in the spring. To go to nationals, the women will have to be among the top three in their new region. According to Leland, it will be tough, but do-able.
The women have been shooting well throughout the first five weeks of the season garnering second and third place finishes.
Part of this success has been the result of incoming freshmen Katie Grevlos, Sadie Martin, Jennifer Pederson, Marisa Toivonen and JoDee Wheeler. They have been playing well every week, and making the team better overall, according to Leland.
“We have a really deep team,” Leland said. “I haven’t been playing really well, so it has been nice that the others can step up and take a spot on the team as well.
“And I think every single week we have had the five spot switching out because the girls are all hitting so well.”
The team has been playing well under head coach Peggy Kirby. They have placed eighth, 11th, 10th, tied for ninth and placed 10th again at nationals in the last 5 years. This year, they are trying to return again.
Emily Kvidera, a senior who is helping to lead the team this year, has been named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) women’s golfer of the week three times in a row.
Kvidera echoed Leland, saying that freshmen have been a huge benefit to the squad.
“Our freshmen are really solid, and we have a lot to choose from,” Kvidera said. “Jenny Peterson has definitely been steady on the team and same with Marisa [Toivonen.] It is fun to watch them play, because they play the game different than we do, and there are new eyes and it is fun.”
Leland and Kvidera are on the same page when it comes to nationals. They think they can make it individually, but also want to improve as a team.
“Going to nationals is always one of our goals,” Kvidera said.
Yet, performing at the nationals is their main goal. “I don’t feel that we have performed to the best of our ability yet,” Kvidera said.
With sports, coaching is implied to any athlete.
Leland and Kvidera agree that the coaching of Kirby and Patty Coddington has made a difference in the number of strokes being put on the card.
“The coaches have been helping us the most with our short game,” Kvidera said. “We practice putting and chipping a lot. The coaches are good at that so they definitely help us out there.”
The women will look to defend their NSIC title as they travel to Brainerd, Minn., this weekend to play the first 36 holes in the conference tournament. The last 36 holes will be played in late April in Morton, Minn., to determine the conference champion.