Flashes strive for 12 in a row

Rachel Jones

After surviving a tough regular season schedule, the No. 30 Kent State women’s golf team is ready to take on the Mid-American Conference Championships this weekend.

“We’ve had the hardest schedule we’ve ever had in the 12 years of our program,” said Kent State coach Mike Morrow. “We feel the tough schedule has prepared us for the MAC tournament.”

Looking back, the Flashes seem quite comfortable at MAC Championships.

Since the tournament began in 1999, Kent State has won 11 straight championship titles. A Kent State golfer has also won the individual championship title every year, except for 2005.

The Flashes will compete against seven other teams at the Hawthorns Golf Club in Fishers, Ind., in the tournament hosted by the University of Toledo.

Morrow said he does not know which team will put up the best fight to break that winning streak.

“We have not seen any of the MAC teams in the fall or spring, so I don’t really know their records,” Morrow said. “Eastern Michigan and Ball State have been doing well, but I think there are a number of schools that have a lot of talent.”

Ball State will bring sophomore Brittany Kelly, currently ranked first in the MAC, but Kent State has its own secret weapon: Mercedes Germino.

The sophomore won the individual medalist last year with 300 points and was named MAC Freshman of the Year.

Morrow said all of the golfers have had good seasons, and Germino is not the only golfer the other teams should be worried about.

Joining Germino on the lineup are juniors Martina Gavier, Sarah Bradley and Shamira Marshall. Sophomore Mandi Morrow will also compete.

“We have a relatively young team with three juniors and two sophomores in the starting lineup,” Morrow said. “But we have a lot of talent.”

Raw talent and a tough schedule seem to have paid off in the regular season.

“We’ve been really consistent all season long, so I think that’s one of our strengths,” Morrow said. “We’re looking forward to that consistency during the postseason tournaments.”

Morrow added that he is excited for this weekend and is already planning for the postseason.

“We’re planning on winning the MAC again, then we’re going to go to the NCAA Regionals and play very well there and make it to the NCAA Finals,” he said, confidently. “Our best finish (at the NCAA Finals) is 15th, so we want to improve that and have a chance of winning the NCAA Championships.”

Follow the Flashes this weekend at www.golfstat.com.

Contact sports reporter Rachel Jones at [email protected].