The Vassar College women’s golf team, the only varsity golf team on the Vassar campus, just began their spring season by playing host to the 2014 Vassar College Golf Invitational this past weekend on April 12 and 13. The Invitational took place at Casperkill Golf Club. The women’s golf team placed 9th out of 12 schools, being narrowly bested by four strokes by the St. Lawrence University Saints. The Brewers finished the first day with a team total of 355 in 8th place, sitting 13 strokes behind 7th place, the Mount Holyoke Lyons.
Sophomore Aimee Dubois carded seven over 79 and was tied for 5th, just one stroke behind four players tied at six over. Fellow sophomore Angela Mentel totaled 84 on the day and was one of just eight players with two or more birdies and finished in 15th place.
Senior Paloma Jimenez was tied for 41st with 91, freshman Diana Howland finished with a 101. Freshman Storm Vonhundley posted a 123. However, this was Storm Vonhundley’s first collegiate tournament.
On the second day, Dubois was the top finisher for the Brewers. She carded an 81 with a total of 160 on the two days. She finished tied for 7th place overall. This was in fact Dubois second-lowest tournament score of the season, just two above her 158 from the Ann S. Batchhelder Invitational.
Mentel tied for 31st overall with a 173 on the two days. Jimenez lowered her score from 91 to 90 on the second day to give her 181 and tied her for 42nd place. Howland chalked up a 93 to finish tied for 53rd. This was five shots better than her personal best from back in October. Vonhundley improved for her second collegiate round by carding a 117 and shaving off six shots from her total the previous day.
Mentel was incredibly proud of her team’s spirit and intensity this weekend, allowing for one of her favorite memories of golf at Vassar thus far.
“This weekend is fresh in my mind, and I remember all of our team members exchanging fist bumps and getting really pumped for day one,” she wrote in an emailed statement. “The weather was beautiful, our team was in great spirits, and some great golf was played. Overall, Saturday was one of the greatest days of golf I remember of my Vassar career.”
However, Mentel was not only impressed with her team’s spirit, but also their play on the course. “The Vassar Invitational this past weekend was our last match. I am incredibly proud of Aimee Dubois, who scored 169 for the two days and managed an amazing ranking within the field against some very challenging opponents,” she explained.
She continued, “Storm posted her first score as a Golfing Brewer, and I was so proud of her spirit and desire to score well. She posted a good total for her first collegiate match. Our senior, Paloma, had two solid rounds this weekend and helped us on day one to finish about St. Lawrence.”
She continued, “Diana also had a stellar day two, and I am so glad to see her reaching her potential. She has a very powerful swing and her short game is always getting better. I can’t wait to see the amazing rounds in her future.”
This year’s team is young but focused. The team is small, boasting just one senior. It graduated two seniors last year and is currently made up of only one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen to make up the team.
Next year, they will welcome back junior Caitlin Bell, who is currently spending a year studying at Dartmouth University.
Despite the youth, the team has a solid group of talent. This season has been all about improving whatever each individual can in order to help make the team better.
According to Dubois, the golf team’s focus during the practices of this year has been improvement and focus. This has not been an issue for the Brewers, who constantly strive for excellence. “We’re continuing to focus on improvement, experience and practicing as much as we can. With golf the cycle of improvement never ends, so golfers are always trying to get to the ‘next level,’” she explained in an emailed statement.
“While our levels are all slightly different, we’re encouraging and challenging each other and making each other better players because of it,” she wrote.
“We’re optimistic about the rest of the season, but not getting ahead of ourselves. For instance, this week, we’re just thinking about next weekend’s tournament. The next week we can focus on the one after that—the Liberty League Championship,” she continued.
The team’s relative youth excites Dubois, especially as she is looking forward into the Varsity golf program’s future. “This year’s team is young and already really close,” wrote Dubois. “That means that looking forward to the future of the team is really exciting because we’re only going to improve — both as individual players and as a team.”
She continued, “The cohesiveness of the team, coupled with the evolving talent, will only lead to good things from the Vassar women’s golf team.”
Between a variety of factors, including the many changes they’ve faced starting this Fall and their overall youth, it’s been a unique year for the Brewers according to Howland. “I think there are a lot of changes, a new coach, a new home course, it’s definitely an interesting year,” wrote Howland.
Despite all these changes and the long winter break from tournament play during the fall, Dubois is incredibly optimistic about her team’s remaining two tournaments for the spring season. “This fall, we went through some big changes — a new coach, a new home course and adjusting to a small team with one senior, two sophomores and a couple of freshmen,” explained Dubois.
She continued to say that, “The fall was definitely an adjustment, which I’m sure affected all of our play. With that said, the spring is going well. The long winter set us back a bit for practicing, but our first tournament showing went pretty well for all our players, and we’re looking forward to competing in our next two tournaments!”
Mentel is focused on the team’s potential and is ready for it to really shine in the upcoming Liberty League Championships in two weeks. ”Our team has potential to succeed this season,” she wrote.
“I’m excited to see some really good rounds from Aimee, and some more solid scores from Paloma, Diana and Storm,” she wrote. “I feel that all of us had a new personal best in us somewhere, and I’m really hoping to see those rounds come out during the Liberty League Championships.”
The women’s golf team is back in action April 19-20 in Amherst, Mass. at the Jack Leaman Invitational. They will then compete at the Liberty League Championships April 26-27 in Albany, N.Y.