The Oglethorpe women's golf team got their season off to an exciting start Sunday afternoon, as they went up against SAA power Berry in a match play event at Chateau Elan in Braselton. The event featured five different matchups, requiring a team to pick up a win in three of them to secure the victory in the dual match. The Vikings won a close 3-2 match on the afternoon, but the Petrels got several good performances.
The day started with junior Hailey Willman falling to Berry's Rachel Belanger 7-and-6 (meaning Belanger won by seven holes with the match clinched after 12 holes). Fellow junior Katie Hanley competed well in her match, but fell to her opponent 2-and-1 (won by two holes, clinched after 17). Freshman Angel Sanchez got the Petrels on the board with a 5-and-4 victory (won by five, clinched after 14), and sophomore Ana Garcia defeated her opponent 1-up (won by one hole, match went all 18). It came down to the final match, featuring sophomore Mara Tiger, but Berry was able to win that 1-up to clinch the victory in the dual match.
"Overall, it was a great match that came down to the last few holes," said Oglethorpe assistant coach Eric Quinn. "I think our team played really well, and we had a chance to win this thing late, but Berry played very well the entire day and just nipped us at the end. Overall, I am very proud of our team and am optimistic and excited for our upcoming events."
The Petrels will now get ready for the NCAA Division III Women's Fall Preview, which is scheduled to take place at Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, Sept. 17 and 18. The Petrels will host the event, and that will be the site of the NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championship in May, which will also be hosted by Oglethorpe.