The Mt. St. Joseph University of Ohio Stateline Shootout and Transylvania University of Kentucky's Fall Invitational are the destinations for Manchester University's women's and men's golf teams Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1 and 2.
Tourney details: First round tee times begin at 11 a.m. for the women and 8:30 a.m. for the men. Second round starts are dependent on first round finishing at MSJ, while it's 8:30 a.m. again at TU … Venues are the Miami-Whitewater Forest Golf Course in Harrison, Ohio, for the women and the University Club in Lexington, Ky., for the men.
Spartan Shorts: Women – The Spartans, competing for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship in October, have a roster featuring four-year team member Haleigh Fernandez (Selma, Ind.) and a strong sophomore class that includes Taylor Erfman (Brookville, Ind.) and Kaitlyn Cook (Monticello, Ind.), each of whom were part of the five best stroke averages from a year ago. "Our returners have made a lot of improvement," head coach Tara Boone said. "I don't see us skipping a beat [from 2017-18]. We did lose some quality seniors last season, but Haleigh added in with the sophomores have stepped up and done what they're told with no questions asked. It's an outstanding group all the way around. This bunch is very competitive, and they each know what it takes to win having put in the work [to get to that point]. We came away with one tournament championship last year, and I think we're ready to add to that [in 2018-19]."
Men - MU returns four individuals from 2017-18. If their head coach sees any semblance of the progression they made last year from start to finish, she'll have plenty to look forward to. "They were like a different team from the start of the fall to the end of the spring," Boone reminisced. "We've increased our schedule [to try to build on that]. I'm hoping [senior] Connor [Labedz of Aurora, Ill.] will take an even stronger leadership role as well as [junior] Zach [Edwards of Plainfield, Ind.]. Our success possibility comes down to the two of them taking charge and having that mentality trickle down … "I wanted them to get as much playing time as possible," she added about the bigger fall slate of six events. "We're moving in earlier … getting more practice. They struggled with a lighter start [in 2017-18], so I think this situation will be a positive."
Women's Schedule Continues: The Black and Gold are in the field at Defiance College's Fall Invitational Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8 and 9. White Pines Golf Course in Swanton, Ohio, is the host course.