Following a rocky spring in which it has played just seven rounds since the first week of March, Ashland University's women's golf team is ready to play in the 54-hole 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships, Friday-Sunday (April 20-22) at The Virtues Golf Club in Nashport, Ohio.
Ashland is coming off its rain-shortened Invitational at Ashland Golf Club, in which only 18 of the scheduled 36 holes were played.
"Really, we were hoping to get the second round in, so we could come back and show what we were able to do on our home course," said Ashland head coach Andrew Bolinger. "Hopefully, going into GLIAC, we're strong mentally and prepared to play at The Virtues. It's a beast of a course. Not only is it mentally challenging, but it's physically challenging."
Ashland's top four players heading into the conference championships are sophomore Krystal Hu (75.65 average in 2017-18), freshman Hannah Lemons (78.65), junior Monica Torda (80.53), and freshman Sophie Hemleben (81.88). When asked who his team's X factor was this weekend, Bolinger didn't hesitate.
"It's Hannah. Hannah has to play well for us this weekend for us to do well as a team," he said. "Krystal's very consistent, but if Hannah can get some rounds together…if she can show up for this conference tournament, I think we're going to do very well."
The Eagles were seventh in the first NCAA Division II super region rankings of the season, with the second set coming out on Thursday (April 19). The GLIAC Championships are a dual-purpose competition – Ashland wants to do well in within the league, but also get ready for what could be a ninth consecutive appearance at the super regional, May 7-9 at Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids, Mich.
"There's three rounds of golf, so a lot can happen," Bolinger said. "If we have three consistent rounds, we should be good to go for regionals. This tournament's huge for us.
"There's a lot on the line, both team and individual. Just keeping your mind ahead of conference and not regionals is a huge thing."