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What Coach Said: This week in girls golf

Head coaches discuss regionals

October 15th, 2019 3:00 PM

By James Kay

Sports Editor

Every week, we cover a different sport and talk to each coach at the varsity level. This week, we're highlighting girls golf. With the conclusion of the regular season, Fenwick, Trinity, and OPRF's golf squads competed in regionals on Oct. 10. Here's what the varsity head coaches had to say about their team's performances this past weekend and what it means moving forward.

OPRF struggled throughout the entire season, only winning one dual match heading into regionals. However, they placed third as a team after heading in as the sixth seed. Here's what head coach Matt McMurray had to say about the weekend.

On blowing by expectations at regionals: "We definitely exceeded our expectations. It was a bit of a surprise but a welcome surprise. I told the girls before the round that I thought we had a chance and we won the regional last year, so I had a sense of what the competition was like. You never know what can happen based on conditions and who you're going to play but I knew we had an outside chance. I think it was a big surprise for everyone based on the results of the season since we really struggled this year. This was a great way to bounce back."

On what to expect the rest of the way: "I think we are peaking at the right time. I was pleased to see the girls at the middle-end of my lineup play some of their best 18-hole rounds of the season. We put in the work and we had a good practice round on Saturday in preparation for the regional. That's something we will do again for the sectional. We are going to be up against great competition but I remain hopeful that this team can take what we did on Thursday and take it to the sectional."

Fenwick continued its success from the regular season in the regional round. Here's what head coach Michael Trankina had to say about his team's performance. 

On everyone stepping up in practice/Kate Reagan fighting through illness: "Each player contributed in their own way and even the bottom scores that didn't count were encouraging to the other girls. I was really impressed with their preparation and getting in practice outside of our formal practices. I think that showed with our middle two golfers, Bridget O'Hara and Kate Reagan, holding their own. Kate was sick and we didn't know that until her parents told us during the round that she wasn't feeling great. I don't know how she did it because she could barely speak by the end of it. She really put her head down and charged through."

On top golfers Lillian Bateman and Taylor Hultquist: "One week, one of them will be our No. 1 and then the next time out the other one will be our No. 1. They really worked through some rough conditions and put up some pretty good numbers. They always have high expectations for themselves and what we need to be careful of is not setting those expectations too high and then having them be disappointed if it doesn't go exactly how we want it to go. I try to tell them that not every round is going to be a personal best, and now that we are here at the end of the season, they are starting to really get the mental part of the game down."

Trinity didn't advance to sectionals as a team but had its top golfer in Katarina Shierok move on to the next round (she shot an 85 and placed second). Here's what head coach Steve Dodovich had to say after regionals:

 On expecting better results: "We did well this year. [Thursday's results] were actually quite shocking. The girls are a lot better golfers than their scores reflected and it was just a bad day all the way around. The conditions were not that great, and I think that probably contributed to their scores. They all expected to do better and were disappointed with how the day went since we didn't miss the cut by that much."

On trying to adjust and building for next year: "They tried to make adjustments but that is hard to ask from high school golfers. That's something more advanced athletes can do — push past those type of conditions. We just couldn't get it done. The program has been strong for a while, and it will continue to be strong. We do have three seniors who are graduating but we still will have 10 players returning next year. We will be fine."

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