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Women’s golf exceeds expectations

Posted on 03.09.2011

The No. 25 University of Indianapolis women’s golf team began its 2011 spring season with a third place finish at the Ann Rhoads Invitational in Birmingham, Ala. on Feb. 27 and 28.

The team was led by top-10 finishes from both junior Darin Pinnick and freshman Jenny Konop. Pinnick placed sixth with a score of +17 and Konop was tied for ninth at +18.

Freshman Amy Thompson finished in 14th at +23 while fellow freshman Brianna Scheidler tied for 28th at +30 in the Greyhounds’ first tournament of the season on grass. They typically practice on turf.

“It’s always hard to tell how teams will do once we come out and see grass for the first time this spring, but overall, I believe we did a great job,” Pinnick said.

There were 10 teams and 54 golfers participating in the tournament.

“They really performed well,” said Head Coach Ken Piepenbrink. “My expectations are much higher after this weekend.”
West Florida University, ranked No. 20 in Division II, won the tournament, while Division I Butler University came in second place.

“Butler is a very seasoned team and we were very competitive with them,” Piepenbrink said.

The Butler team has four seniors, while the Greyhound squad has three freshmen and one junior.

Piepenbrink explained that compared to other athletes, freshmen golfers in college have the most to adjust to coming from high school competition. In high school, the golf season is in the fall, while the college season is in the spring.
Furthermore, most college golf courses are around 4,800 yards, while the minimum length of the college course is 5,800 yards, a 1,000-yard difference.

“It’s a different mindset,” Piepenbrink said. “This group has done very well. This is the best freshman class I’ve had as far as adapting.”

Pinnick, the lone upperclassman, explained that although they are a young team, expectations haven’t changed.

“I think we are just as good as ever,” Pinnick said. “We have the talent, both mentally and physically, to go really far this year. The team chemistry is there, and that makes it that much easier to accomplish your goals.”
In a little less than two months, the Greyhounds will begin their postseason.

Piepenbrink explained that the golf course they played on in Alabama is very similar to the course where regionals will be held later this season. He added that it is a good sign the team played so well this past weekend on that type of course.
The next tournament for the women’s golf team will be the North/South Invitational in Jacksonville, Fla., to be held on Mar. 14-15, followed by the Siena College Homewood Suite Invite in Port St. Lucie, Fla. to be held Mar. 18-19.

“I think our Spring Break tournaments should go really well,” Pinnick said. “We are all excited to get back out in the warm weather and really prove that we are a good team, even if we are young.”

The Spring Break tournaments will also see the addition of a fifth golfer to the Greyhound roster. Junior Hillary Wenning, a Greyhound track and field middle distance runner, will debut on the golf team now that the indoor track season is over.
Piepenbrink explained that adding a fifth player to the roster will be very beneficial to the team, because they now have the option to drop their lowest score in tournament play.

“I think our team chemistry is 100 times better this season than it was last,” Pinnick said. “The talent is already there and has room to keep getting better and better.”


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