KOKOMO, Ind. — A youthful Indiana University Kokomo women’s golf team plans to be a River States Conference contender in the fall season.
After kicking off the season with a third-place finish at Brescia University, the team competes September 1 and 2 at the Olivet College Labor Day Invitational in Marshall, Michigan.
Coach Julie Wagner said while seven of the 10 women on the team are freshmen and sophomores, they’ve worked on their game since the spring season, preparing to climb the conference ladder.
We are young, but we have a lot of depth and quite a bit of talent on the team,” said Wagner, in her third year as head coach. “They truly want to be a contender in the conference. I have high hopes they’re going to do what it takes to make that happen.”
The team’s lone senior is a new team member, Stephanie Crist (Monticello), who previously played at Ancilla College. Additional newcomers include freshmen Gabby Rahrar (Marion/Madison-Grant HS), Olivia Roberts (Mooresville/Mooresville HS), and Gabby Snowberger (Monticello/Twin Lakes HS).
Right now, I see at least two of our new players for sure being in the starting lineup, and some matches, it might be three,” said Wagner. “We have great depth. If we need to substitute a player, we’re going to be just as awesome, because a lot of them are pretty close in how they’re playing. I have a lot of flexibility in moving people around in the lineup, while still getting good results from the team.”
Wagner challenged her returning players to hit the greens during the summer, and says she’s seen 30 to 50 percent improvement as a result.
They’ve shown me they really worked hard this summer,” she said. “They look really strong, and there’s a lot of good ball-striking going on.”
Returning golfers include juniors Hattie Johnson (Russiaville/Western HS) and Brooke Troutman (Lapel/Homeschool), as well as sophomores Mackenzi Crosley (Lapel/Lapel HS), Brandi Jones (Peru/Maconaquah HS), Kyleigh Roberts (Swayzee/Oak Hill HS), and Mattie Tom (Carmel/Carmel HS).
The fall season includes seven tournaments, with the IU Cougar Cup Invitational set for September 28 and 29 at the Wildcat Creek Golf Course, Kokomo.
Wagner said she planned a challenging fall season, scheduling her team to compete in tournaments that will include top-ranked teams in the NAIA.
Last year was a year of us breaking records, and I really see that again this year,” she said. “With the talent coming in, combined with the hard work by our returning players, they look strong. Even though they’re young, they are full of energy. They have a real desire to be a team that is noticed this year.”
For more information go to iukcougars.com.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.