Swinging into the season: Women’s golf has success in first tournament
By Claire Healey, Staff Writer
The Gettysburg College women’s golf team is off to another impressive start with its 2016-2017 season beginning last weekend. Coming off a huge Centennial Conference victory, the Bullets continued to lead in their first tournament of the fall season. For the third season in a row, Gettysburg captured a team victory in its opening tournament Saturday, September 10, at the Lebanon Valley College Invitational at the Lebanon Country Club.
The lady Bullets captured the title with a team score of 334, seven strokes ahead of second place Stevenson University. After finishing first in the Centennial Conference last season, Gettysburg seems to be on track to repeat their dominance.
“I am happy with the teams’ performance last weekend,” said head coach Susan Konstalid. “I am very fortunate to have the group of kids that we have here. They are a special group and have much potential.”
Along with the success of the whole team came a lot of individual triumph. Senior Sarah Hansen came back to prove why she is defending the Centennial Conference Individual Champion. Hansen finished first in a field of 43 players with a score of 79. She was the only competitor to finish below 80, and she was just one stroke off her personal best score.
Hansen has been slowly building in personal success over her three previous seasons at Gettysburg. With several runner-up finishes leading to the final culmination of Conference Champion last season, Hansen looks to make another run at the top spot.
“Personally, my game is in a fantastic place this early in the season,” said Hansen. “Thanks to the Trackman, I have practiced my swing every day, and my game will only continue to develop.”
All of Gettysburg’s six competitors finished in the top 12 positions, with three of the six being first year athletes. The lady Bullets were also able to all shoot an under 90 score, a feat that only the top 12 of 43 players were able to conquer.
First year Skylar Frankiewicz finished tied for second with a score of 81. Sophomore Gillian Marini competed as an individual and finished tied for sixth with an 83. First year Katherine McCarthy and junior Samantha Sessa both carded 87s to finish tied for ninth. To round out the Gettysburg squad, first year Hannah Fireman shot 89 with a tie for 12th.
Coach Konstalid is very pleased with the youth that have joined the team this season.
“Our first years are a wonderful group,” said Konstalid. “They get along very well and are there for each other as they make the transition to college life. I have been very happy with their performance on the course as well as their personalities.”
Depth is another strength that characterizes the Gettysburg team. With a total of 15 players, some players being abroad, the team is anything but small. During the end of season tournaments, only five girls are allowed to play. So, there will be a lot of competition for those top five spots between the new first years and the returning veteran players, which include players from last years’ conference winning team.
Gettysburg is looking to take the success of last season and combine it with new strong first year players to continue its dominant streak. The Bullets went undefeated last season in tournament play and look to repeat that same success again for the 2016-2017 season. They will also look to maintain the title of Centennial Conference champions this spring, while many Gettysburg players also looking to take the title of individual champion.
The lady Bullets will continue their quest for another perfect season this Saturday, Sept. 17, at the McDaniel Fall Invitational at McDaniel College, where they are the defending champions.