Women’s Golf Makes Push for Nationals

Marah Alindogan

Before the start of every round, the women’s golf team gathers together in a circle.

“It is a time we can be with each other before we split up and are all alone on the course for five hours,” said senior Elaine Whaley.

Alyssa Maine '16
Photo by Halley McCormick

This sense of togetherness is carrying the team, currently ranked 12th in the nation, to one of its most successful seasons to date. With a team comprised of only six members made up of three seniors, one junior, one sophomore and one first-year, the small roster has brought the players closer together.

“We are the closest team in our conference, and we have such an amazing dynamic. All six of us have completely different personalities, but that’s what makes us unique,” said first-year Lou Points.

Likewise, sophomore Alyssa Maine believes that the team serves as her second family.

“We truly treat each other like sisters. Even though we play an individual sport, the presence and support from all of the team before, during and after a round is a huge motivation while playing,” she said.

But being part of a family also involves hardships. The team experienced one of those hurdles in the NWC Spring Classic, one of the main tournaments that determines whether or not they will receive a bid to nationals. With difficult weather conditions, including 30 miles-per-hour winds, they pulled out with a fourth-place finish.

“That experience is going to make us work even harder to win the conference championship because we aren’t going to let that happen again,” said Points.

However, there is a collective feeling among the group that their best golf is yet to come.

“We all know what we want to achieve, and we are going to work hard these last three weeks so that we can go to nationals because we all know we are capable,” said Points.

Similarly, Whaley is adamant that now is the time for success.

“We are climbing the mountain, and we are about to hit our peak. We have played some difficult courses. There is always a time when you press ‘go,’ and the throttles come on and you start playing really well,” she said.

With such a positive response to a disappointing loss in such a mentally and physically strenuous sport, it must be difficult for the team to stay motivated day in and day out. Fortunately, the team is propelled by leadership throughout the roster.

“The good thing about us is that it is not just the seniors who lead. I see a lot of leadership in Lou, Alyssa and [junior] Kelly [Sweeney] in a lot of different ways,” said Whaley. 

Maine also points out the valuable contributions the seniors bring to the team.

“Having a large senior class has been very helpful for our team this year. Each one of the three seniors has a different but equally important role on the team. They, as a group, act as a stabilizer to team morale when tournaments don’t end in our favor,” she said.

Women's golf
Photo by Halley McCormick

With nothing but positive spirits propelling the team into the last part of their season, which includes a tournament in Walla Walla and the NWC Championship in Oregon, the women golfers have their eyes on the main goal: a bid to nationals.

Win or lose, the team makes sure they aren’t taking for granted the opportunity to play and compete.

“Elaine always tells us, ‘We are so lucky to be able to travel to amazing places and play golf with the people we love. Not a lot of people can say they have or had that opportunity in college,'” said Points.