Both University of Indianapolis women’s and men’s golf teams recently received regional rankings. The women snagged the top spot in the East Division while the men took fifth in the Midwest, according to Spikemark, the main media platform for college golf. Both teams wrapped up their fall seasons with a tournament on Oct. 23 in which the men and women took home first place, according to UIndy Athletics.
Head Coach Brent Nicoson, who has been coaching both teams for 12 years, said both teams improved during the fall portion of the season. According to Nicoson, the men’s team is on the younger side and had to put in a lot of effort to move up the rankings.
“The men have worked their way up the rankings, I would say more than the women have because the women were already there,” Nicoson said.“ I’m very happy with both teams. They got better, they work extremely hard and we’re kind of back in position where we needed to be.”
Nicoson said the regional rankings mean everything going into spring because it has a lot to do with which teams get sent to the NCAA tournament. Teams need to either win their conference tournament or be ranked high enough to receive an at-large bid. An at-large bid is the only other way for a team to receive a spot in playoffs if they do not win their conference, according to the NCAA. In order for the teams to get a bid, they need to place in the top six or seven, Nicoson said.
Junior and All-American Anci Dy says their first-place ranking allows the team to have more security in their spot and more of an edge going into the spring. Though Dy has had a lot of success, she says she is still always looking to improve both for herself and the team.
“I mean, definitely, a lot of self reflection after each tournament,” Dy said. “We always do our stats. So we kind of track like, what we do well, what sucks, or what you can do better on. And you just really focus on that. So I take it week by week, what’s one thing I can improve each time and then just having a good mindset. And having good chemistry with your team also helps because you’re with them all the time.”
After having a lot of success in the fall, the women’s team is looking to continue to develop and perfect their skills, Dy said. A big aspect of this, Dy said, is going to be adjusting and adapting to new courses. Every course has its unique factors and Dy said being flexible and having more skills available is something they will be focusing on in the off-season.
Dy said that in the fall season, a lot of their time was spent trying to find their footing as a team and develop the new players. One of these new players, freshman Simon Engman, has developed into a talented and reliable player, according to Nicoson. Engman ended up placing sixth in their last tournament of the season and Nicoson was happy with the performance.
“We basically played four freshmen and one sophomore in all five [men’s] tournaments and we played all five freshmen in one tournament and we got better and better as the year progressed,” Nicoson said. “We had a good leader and a couple of leaders, but Simon Engman played great and we ended up winning our last tournament by 16 shots which vaulted us up the rankings quite a bit.”
Engman, who is originally from Sweden, said the fall season was a time of development for the team. Engman said the team is proud of where they ended in the fall and have high hopes and goals for the spring season.
“I would say this fall was kind of like get some playing experience in college level for going into the spring,” Engman said, “And we finished quite strong and so, I would say, [the goal] maintain that team spirit we had. We have a great team and great team feeling.”
The spring season schedule has not been released yet but will commence at the beginning of March.