By Nicki Crisci
The mens and womens golf teams finished their fall seasons Oct. 16 in the Shark Invitational match held in Florida.
The mens golf team finished sixth out of a 15-team field to end their fall season, compiling a three-round score of 909.
Head coach Brent Nicoson said the team saw challenges with the tougher tournament schedule. The team faced Division II teams in Florida which served as a preview to the kind of competition they will face at nationals in the spring.
We finished in sixth place, which was not a bad game for us with so many good teams there, said junior Justin Hueber.
Hueber was the team leader at the match, gaining a third-place finish over the 75 other competing golfers.
It was tough for a northern school to play at a southern school, Nicoson said, but we found out that we could play with the best of them.
The womens golf team ended its season with a 10th place finish in the 18-team field. Over the two-day period, the team accumulated a score of 658.
The team also played tougher competition with Division II teams, but head coach Ken Piepenbrink said that it tested the teams progress and abilities against the best teams in the nation.
We handled the pressure and unique Florida conditions much better than last year, but we were still affected by it, Piepenbrink said. The greens, fairways and bunkers are very different from around here. Thats why it is important to play in the South.
According to junior Kristi Piepenbrink, who was the team leader, shooting 77 and placing seventh of 89 players, the playing field in Florida was more sand-based, Bermuda grass and tended to catch the club and make the ball roll differently. She pointed out, however, the fact that the field being different was not the deciding factor on the overall performance of the team,
We did not play up to our standards so even though it was disappointing, it showed me that we are capable of competing with anyone on a better day, Piepenbrink said.
This years womens golf team consisted of more underclassmen, with Piepenbrink the only upperclassman of the group. According to coach Piepenbrink, although the team members are very young, their progress has been unbelievable, and they have continually worked hard.
I am very proud of the fact that these girls are what NCAA student/athletes are supposed to be. They have a great balance of sport, academics and social activities, Piepenbrink said. They are great representatives of UIndy and will have very successful careers once they graduate.
Both the mens and womens teams will start their spring seasons in March when they compete in the North/South Challenge in Jacksonville.