Women’s golf shoots to continue season’s success

Vassar Women’s Golf heads into its final tournament of the year this weekend, visiting Massachusetts for the Williams Spring Invitational. The Brewers have had a successful spring so far, and hope to carry this momentum into the tournament, having recently placed 2nd out of 7 at the Liberty League Championships hosted in conjunction with the Vassar Invitational over April 13th – 14th. Vassar enjoyed its share of Liberty League accolades, with several representatives earning postseason recognition. Seniors Celynne Balatbat and Nicole Bronson, Junior Paloma Jimenez, and Freshman Angela Mentel all earned 2nd Team Liberty League status by virtue of placing in the top 10 individually at the Championships.

Head coach Rhett Myers has been with Vassar for 9 years, as Head Coach since 2007, and brings a wealth of experience in the golf world to the team, and, according to Jimenez, “Coach Myers is quite possibly the nicest man on the planet. He’s always got a positive attitude and a plentitude of anecdotes.”

Mentel, who had a standout first season, echoed Jimenez’s words about Myers. “Coach Myers has fostered an amazing women’s golf program here at Vassar,” Mentel wrote in an emailed statement. “His dedication to the team and to the game of golf is inspiring. I certainly appreciate his help not only in becoming a better golfer, but also in helping me to transition to Vassar as a freshman. Coach Myers has done a great job in working to make the Liberty League Championship an attainable goal for our program, and I think that in the years to come there will be great opportunities and tournament results from the Women’s Golf Team.”

The team competes in both fall and spring seasons, bounded by the weather and course conditions. The spring season was initiated at the Myrtle Beach Shootout in South Carolina during the resent spring break, which Vassar won. In addition to the Vassar Invitational/Liberty League Championships, Vassar also competed last weekend at Amherst in the Jack Leaman Invitational. Vassar’s 708 total placed it ahead of Wellesley College (731), Hamilton College (778), Mount Holyoke College (784) and St. Lawrence University (839). (Cite Vassar athletics recap)

Jimenez, who had a solid season this semester, shared how she got started playing golf, and why she continues to do so, saying “I’ve been playing since I was 9 years old, and I originally started because my Grandma Betty was amazed by my amateur Putt-Putt skills. I play golf because Bill Murray plays golf.”

Despite the brief seasons, golf still looms as a large time commitment in season. “Consider it takes around 5 or 6 hours (or the infamous 7 hour NYU match) to complete one day of competition,” said Jimenez. “We practice for about 2 hours, four or five times a week.”

With the season nearing its end, many members of the team express their happiness with this season as a whole. During her first season as a Brewer, Mentel has developed a passion for the program. “Golf at Vassar has been really great. The team works incredibly hard to represent Vassar well in tournaments, and we compete against nationally ranked teams regularly. We’ve had an awesome year and I can’t wait to see what next year brings! Personally, I love competing to represent our school as a part of the golf team. The support of Vassar, Coach Myers, and my teammates helped me earn Liberty League Honors, and I will continue to do my best to represent Vassar well in tournaments.”

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