Women’s golf: Conference championship

Maddy Paulsen, Megan Ramp, Mariah Chesley, Brittany McNett-Emmerich, Rachel Hernandez, Allison Van Heuklom, Coach Howie Samb-Contributed

By Stephen Eibes —

Behind a great season

Dominant is the only way to describe the University of Wisconsin–Stout’s Women’s Golf Team this season. The Blue Devils have had one of the best fall seasons on record.

In four of five tournaments this fall, they have finished in the top five teams, and in the last two tournaments the team has finished in first. They look to carry this momentum through the rest of the season into the conference championship.

The Blue Devils have heavily relied on the play of four seniors: Mariah Chesley (Mankato, Minn.), Brittany McNett-Emmerich (Madison, Wis.), Megan Ramp (Batavia, Ill.) and Allison Van Heuklom (Middleton, Wis.). These four seniors have led by example for the rest of the team. Each one has posted a top ten score at least once this season, while also keeping their individual averages under 80 strokes per round.

Ramp attributes this success to the team’s focus and hard work, saying: “Our team wants to be better. We all work [on being better] in ways we know each individual needs to…having individuals work on specific areas that they might be struggling with. This is how we stay strong individually and as a team.”

Coach Howie Samb stresses that the team needs to “work hard on every single shot, never give up and then we can live with the result no matter what it is.”

Samb also wants the team to “play smart, show excellent course management skills and never beat themselves.” Samb was the WIAC Coach of the Year last season, and looks to continue to motivate the ladies to work hard.

The team is focused strongly on their goals they have set for themselves individually and as a team. McNett-Emmerich and Chesley both say that the goal for the team is to win the conference championship. Stout won the WIAC Tournament in 2012, but slipped a bit and finished in second place to the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire squad last season.

The team has used the second place finish from last season as motivation to propel themselves through this season. This has resulted in shaving off six strokes in their four-player team average, dropping it from 330 to 324 and thrusting the team into the Division III national rankings. As of Sept. 18, Stout was tied with Eau Claire at No. 16 in the DIII poll, according to GolfStat.com.

The team’s success has gained them recognition to play in national invitational tournaments, including the O’Brien Invitational at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. The Blue Devils placed eight out of the ten, playing against the top teams in the country.

“It was a great honor and reward to the ladies for their hard work,” says Coach Samb about the O’Brien Invitational.

Many of the ladies believe that this tournament was the most impactful of the season, because of its level of recognition. The team also set a school record this season at the Wartburg Fall Invitational in Waverly, Iowa. Stout posted a 303 team score, which beat the previous record of the 310 team posted at the same tournament a year ago.

In the team’s most recent tournaments, the Augsburg Border Battle Triangula and the Mad Dawg Invitational, the Blue Devils won both. At the Augsburg Border Battle Triangula, the Blue Devils blew away the competition. The team’s four seniors took the top four spots and the team finished with the best overall score of 321, which was an astonishing 35 strokes better than the second place team University of Wisconsin–River Falls. In the Mad Dawg Invite, all six ladies placed in the top 12, and McNett-Emmerich finished with individual medalist honors with her score of 160.

The Blue Devils head into the WIAC Conference Championship with their eyes on the first place trophy. The tournament is Oct. 3 to 5 at Lake Arrowhead Golf Course near Nekoosa, Wis. This will be the last tournament of the fall season. The Blue Devils hope to finish strong. The winner of the tournament will earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Championship that will be conducted May 12 to 15, 2015, in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.

Conference champions

The University of Wisconsin–Stout women’s golf team ran away with the WIAC Conference title Sunday, Oct. 5 winning by 34 strokes.

They finished the first day with a score of 334, set a tournament record of 311 on the second day and took a 33 stroke lead. This pretty much sealed the title for the Blue Devils. Seniors Mariah Chesley (Mankato, Minn.) and Brittany McNett-Emmerich (Madison, Wis.) both tied for second place at 236.

Allison Van Heuklom (Sr, Middleton, Wis.) came in fifth at 249, Megan Ramp (Sr, Batavia, Ill.) tied for sixth at 250, Maddy Paulson (Jr, Apple Valley, Minn.) placed 11th and Rachel Hernandez (Fr, Madison, Wis.) finished in 13th at 258. Coach Howie Samb also won the WIAC Coach of the Year at the tournament for the fifth time.

The Blue Devils will play in the Division III National Championship for the second time in four years. The championship will be held in Howey-in-the-Hills Fla. May 12,, 2015. They look to take on the top teams in the country and come out on top.

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