The women’s golf team qualified for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic championship, a three-day tournament April 18-20 held at Brookside Country Club in Pasadena.
This was the first time since 2016 that La Verne has had a large enough squad to compete as a team in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The Leopards finished in eighth place.
The women’s golf team is younger and less experienced than other teams in the conference, comprising four freshmen and one sophomore.
“This was the team’s first tournament covering three days,” head coach Sunny Marcum said.
“It made for a tough physical and mental test for the team.”
Sophomore Alexi Gonzalez is the only returner and led the Leopards through the first day of the tournament.
“On Thursday the conditions were perfect to throw out a good score,” Gonzalez said. “Friday we settled a little bit, the weather was different, the greens were extremely fast and a lot of us couldn’t make the putts that we needed to make to put up a score we were really proud of but we all fought back on Saturday to make some improvements on our score.”
Gonzalez tied for 25th place in the first round then ended the day with birdies on the tenth hole finishing the day with a 12-over 84.
On Friday, freshman teammates Katrina Kasenda and Alexandra Hauck both saw improvement on day two of the tournament.
Kasenda improved by eight strokes from the first day, ending in a total score of 182.
Hauck improved by five strokes from day one ending with a total score of 95.
“I was a lot more patient throughout the tournament because the first day was rough because a lot of the greens were hard to read when we were cutting,” Hauck said.
After day two the Leopards stood in eighth place in the tournament.
“The putting was the toughest part of the game,” Marcum said. “The greens were very small, everyone played in the same situation but for our team we don’t have many experienced players so for our players it was tough.”
On the last day of the tournament the Leopards saw improvement but it was not enough to move up in the rankings.
“Overall, there was an improvement with the team from the first to the third day. We learned how to control our shots and learned how to play smarter,” Hauck said.
Gonzalez led the team with a four stroke improvement from the second round.
“Thursday was definitely one of my best outings. Friday I did struggle, I think I had a few strokes to my score. But Saturday I definitely fought back and was able to redeem myself,” Gonzalez said.
Maydeen Merino can be reached at email@example.com.