Sycamores Second By Stroke; Smith, Christopher In Top Five At MVC Championship
April 23, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – It was a day for the record book as the Indiana State women’s golf team battled their way to a second place finish at the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Golf Championship. Wichita State held off a late charge by the Sycamores through the final nine holes to hold on to win the title with a 900 total. Indiana State was second at 901.
“These near misses are things that can propel you to great stuff,” Greg Towne, Indiana State golf coach said. “Our girls will work harder and a couple realized that they can compete.”
Smith recorded the second lowest round in MVC Championship history with a career low 68 in the final round which also tied the school record set by Reece Feducia in 2011 and Breanne Smith in 2010. The junior tied for second in the championship with a 219 total (75-76-68) which established the school record for an individual in a 54-hole tournament. Breanne Smith had the previous record of 222 at the Indiana Invitational in 2010.
Christopher and tournament champion Danielle Lemek of Bradley also set a Championship record when they each posted a 69 in the opening round which is the first time in tournament history that two players have recorded scores under 70 in the same round. Christopher was at the top of the leaderboard throughout the tournament and finished tied for fourth with a 220 total (69-75-76). The round of 69 was a career low for the senior as was the 220 total.
Uradomo was also among the leaders throughout the tournament and finished tied for 11th with a 226 total (77-79-75) which was a career low for the freshman. The top 10 and ties receive All-Conference recognition.
“We have a nice culture going and I am pleased about how far we have come,” Towne said. “Two all-conference selections and one just missing is pretty heady stuff along with all the team and personal records during a championship.”
Towne was especially proud of the way his lone senior on the team performed during the competition.
“McCall went out in style,” Towne said. “She birdied the last hole for what we thought was a tie for the championship. That is something she can cherish for a lifetime.”
Also competing for Indiana State was junior Erinn Sutton who finished tied for 35th with a 238 total (82-77-79) and junior Gina Della Camera who tied for 40th with a 242 total (80-80-82). Della Camera’s total was a career low for the junior in a 54 hole tournament.
Lemek took medalist honors with a tournament record 212 total with Wichita State’s Alejandra Arellano tying Smith for second at 219. Cassie Rushing of Southern Illinois tied Christopher for fourth at 220.
Pre-championship favorite Wichita State took the team title but had to fight from behind on the final day and then hold off the Sycamores through the final nine. The Shockers finished with a 900 total, one shot better than Indiana State at 901 and five strokes over defending champion Illinosi State at 906. Southern Illinois was fourth (908), Bradley fifth (909), Missouri State sixth (916), Evansville seventh (925), Northern Iowa eighth (927), Loyola ninth (929), and Drake 10th (934).
This was the highest finish for Indiana State since they finished third at the 2010 MVC Championship.
The one-stroke victory is the closest finish in Championship history. Missouri State edged Bradley by two strokes to win the 2001 title (986-988) while Missouri State topped Illinois State by three in 2012 (910-913), and Southern Illinois won by four shots over Illinois State in 1984 (976-980).
Indiana State set several team school records during the tournament.
The Sycamores lowered the mark for low 18-hole round with a 296 in the opening round which is also a new school record for low first round in a tournament.
Indiana State nearly matched that total in the final round with a 298 which set the mark for low third round score. Amongst the rain on Sunday, the Sycamores posted a 307 in the second round to finish the tournament with a 901 total which is a new school record for a 54-hole tournament.
The 296 total in the opening round broke the mark of 297 set at the Chicago State Cougar Classic last fall. The 2007-2008 team had the previous best first round of a tournament with a 298 set at The Preview at the Brickyard to open the season. The 2009-2010 team had the low round of 302 in the third round at the Indiana Invitational.