Women’s golf wins 12th straight title

Rachel Jones

Keeping up with tradition, the No. 33 Kent State women’s golf team won its 12th straight Mid-American Conference Championship, and junior Martina Gavier was named the individual medalist this weekend.

Gavier said it is amazing the team won the tournament again.

“That just shows that coach Mike Morrow has done an amazing job recruiting great players, coaching us and leading us the right way,” Gavier said. “We strive for championships and moments like this, so it’s pretty rewarding. Hopefully, we can continue on our 12 MAC titles in a row.”

Morrow said he was proud of the victory and the impression it leaves about the women’s golf program.

“I’m really proud of how the girls performed and stepped their game up,” Morrow said.

“I think it shows we have a very good program, obviously; the best in the MAC for the past 12 years. We have great competitors, and they’re very consistent and very powerful.”

One of those competitors is Gavier, the 11th Kent State golfer to win the MAC in the tournament’s 12-year history.

Morrow said she played a solid game throughout the competition, which Gavier credits to her attitude.

“I just really tried to stay relaxed and confident throughout the entire tournament,” Gavier said. “When you play like that, the good score and the good numbers just tag along.”

Gavier posted a 218, winning the tournament by three strokes.

But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

The Flashes had to battle cold, windy conditions all weekend, experiencing a rain delay of 45 minutes on Sunday.

“(There were) tough conditions, so you had to stay mentally strong to get through it,” Gavier said.

The tournament, hosted by the University of Toledo, also brought tough competition.

“The conference is definitely getting a lot better, as far as the number of golfers and the quality and depth of the teams,” said Morrow. “I see a huge improvement in the competition.”

Gavier said she did not think about the other teams while she was playing.

“We knew we were kind of at the top of the field here, so our team came really confident and not really thinking about anyone else,” she said. “We came to do our best, and we knew that that would be enough to take a trophy home.”

Every Kent State golfer placed in the top 20 at the tournament.

Sophomore Shamira Marshall placed fourth with 223 strokes and sophomores Mercedes Germino and Mandi Morrow tied for sixth with 226 strokes.

Morrow said a tough regular season and raw talent helped the golfers place where they did.

“As the players come into the program as freshmen, they are surrounded by very professional players,” Morrow said. “They probably learn as much, if not more, from these players as they do for the coaches.”

Agreeing, Gavier said she thinks that contributes to the fun the teammates have together.

“We all learn from each other, help each other out and try to keep the team together,” Gavier said. “That’s what I love about our team.”

With a strong bond and confidence from its latest victory, Morrow said he hopes to carry this momentum into the rest of the postseason.

“Our goal is to have a great show at the NCAA Regionals (which begin May 6) and save our best for the NCAA Championships (which begin May 18),” Morrow said. “We’re planning on keeping it going.”

Finishing 15th last year, the team is hoping to win the NCAA Championships this year.

“The past few years I was at Kent, we came up short, and that was heartbreaking,” Gavier said. “I’m really hoping this year we can make it. We still have a quite a bit to go, but we’re ready.”

Contact sports reporter Rachel Jones at [email protected].