Women’s golf preps for spring season

The season’s first NGCA Coaches Poll ranks women’s golf 15th in the nation. With a lineup change and a challenging schedule, the women hope to continue their fall success this spring.

Returning golfers Anne O’Leary ’10, Kristin Nottebohm ’10 and Kait O’Brien ’10 were consistently strong golfers in the fall and will likely continue to lead the team this spring. In the fall, O’Leary garnered three top-three finishes, including an individual title at the Middlebury Invitational. O’Leary also had the team’s leading scoring average with an 80.25. Nottebohm, a member of the 2007 NCAA tournament team, was an important scorer in each fall event. O’Brien made her mark when she opened with a fourth-place finish at St. Lawrence and ended the season with the third best individual scoring average.

First-years will also contribute greatly to the team’s success this season. Lauren Antsey ’11 quickly transitioned into college golf and played in every fall event. Antsey earned 13th at Middlebury and 18th at St. Lawrence. Aimee Weber ’11 played in two events this fall and shot a two-day total of 172 at the home tournament, while Dale Markey ’11 played in the home tournament last fall and will continue to contribute in the upcoming season.

Although most of their lineup is similar to the fall squad, women’s golf will experience a few lineup changes this spring. Mary Gelber ’10 and Mary Beth Daub ’11, who will both play softball this season, leave a large void on the team. Gelber, a key scoring contributor, racked up three top-10 finishes this fall, including a second-place finish in a field of 75 individuals at the Mt. Holyoke Invitational.

Despite these losses the team is eager to welcome a few of its members back from abroad. Both Laura Koplik ’09 and Melissa Barton ’09 studied away from campus in the fall. Koplik helped lead the Ephs to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 2007 and placed 28th overall amongst a pool of 110 top Div. III players.

Barton led the team in scoring averages last year, and both O’Leary and Barton were named to the All-East Region team for the 2006-2007 seasons. “[Barton] is known for her consistency,” O’Leary said. “She is most often in the high 70s, and occasionally in the low 80s.”

Head Coach Fran Vandermeer will lead the team this spring as the fall head coach, Kris Herman, shifts to coaching softball.

The team is ready to work for its second straight bid to the NCAA tournament which will be held in Waverly, Iowa beginning on May 13. “Each tournament is very important and we will prepare for them one by one, but Iowa is certainly on all our minds,” said Koplik.

On March 17, the Ephs will travel south for eight days of practice and competition. The schedule begins March 21 at the Jekyll Island Invitational in Georgia for a three day event. Upon returning to Williamstown, the spring season will include events at Vassar, Amherst and a Williams Spring Invitational. The Ephs are the defending champions of both the Vassar and Williams Invitationals.