The Randolph-Macon Women’s Golf team kicked off their fall schedule earlier this month with a trip to State College, Pennsylvania where they competed against a slew of Division I programs in the Nittany Lion Invitational.
Leading the way was Senior Captain Olivia Bowling, who finished the tournament ahead of 11 Division I golfers. Freshman Liza Lewis also put up an impressive 82 during the final round.
This is the first of a few different tournaments the Yellow Jackets will be attending this fall as they gear up for the grueling spring season. They will be traveling later in the month to New York University for the NYU Invitational and then will travel to Destin Florida in October for the Golfweek Preview.
The team has also already begun holding their fall practices at the Hollows Golf Club, and many of the players are excited and prepared for the upcoming season. After winning the ODAC title in 2013 and 2014, but losing it to Washington and Lee in 2015, they are looking to bring the title back home to R-MC in 2016. As for their chances of winning, the upperclassmen on the team are very confident. “The main goal that I want to see the team achieve is of course to win ODACs,” Senior Olivia Bowling said. Bowling has led the team over the past few seasons and was named ODAC Rookie of the Year her freshman year, Player of the Year her sophomore year, and was awarded First Team All-ODAC for 3 straight seasons. She also finished in the top 5 of seven different events last season. With a 78.22 average, she is looking to capture the Player of the Year to cap off her collegiate career.
Along with Olivia, the Yellow Jackets will have senior All-ODAC Third Team member Rebecca Ream returning as well. Senior Tracy Moriconi also will return after two top 10 finishes in the ODAC last season. This will be one of the strongest senior classes R-MC has had since the team started in 2012.
In addition, R-MC now holds one of the largest freshman classes it has had with 5 new girls on the roster. From Baltimore to Virginia Beach, Coach Leighann Albaugh put forth a valiant effort to recruit some talented freshman players in preparation for when the current senior class team members graduate. When asked about the upcoming fall season, the freshmen answered with excitement.
“I’m really excited to start my collegiate golf career here at Randolph Macon. I’m really looking forward to see what the future holds,” freshman Emmy Saathoff said.
Freshman Katelyn Jordan also added, “Randolph-Macon College and its golf team is truly a dream come true for me.”
When asked about their goals for the upcoming season, the team all answered very similarly. “Our goal is to have the lowest combined score for the ODAC Championship in the fall,” fresh-man Mia Koch said. It was also among many of the girls to excel nor only on the field, but in the classroom as well. A handful of the golfers made the ODAC All-Academic team last season, and the freshman are eager to match up with their teammates not only on the course, but also in the classroom.
It is very clear that the R-MC Women’s Golf team is excited and ready to prepare for the spring season so that the ODAC title can be returned to Ashland. With the right amount of preparation and training during the offseason, the team will clearly be one of the best around when March arrives.
-Blake Saathoff ’17, Junior Sports Editor