Women’s golf continues conference dominance

Doug Gulasy

Dreher, Delaney, Meixner finish one, two, three individually, Flashes claim their tenth consecutive Mid-American Conference title

One of these days it’s going to happen.

One of these days the Kent State women’s golf team will fail to win the Mid-American Conference Championships. One of these days the Flashes will come up short.

But the Flashes made certain that day wouldn’t happen this year, rolling to their 10th straight conference title with a 51-stroke victory at the MAC Championships over the weekend at Brickyard Crossing in Indianapolis.

“Each year is a new challenge, a new experience,” coach Mike Morrow said. “Each one has its own special meaning.”

The Flashes shot 25-over-par overall in the 72-hole tournament. They saved their best for the final round, shooting 8-under-par yesterday to make sure no team could even hope for a comeback.

“We kind of knew that we probably won the tournament after the third round because we were winning by 35 (strokes),” junior Kirby Dreher said. “We just went out (yesterday) trying to see how low we could go, and we went pretty low.”

Dreher won the individual championship with a score of 3-over-par, including a 3-under final round. In doing so, she became the third consecutive Kent State golfer to win the MAC title. Senior Kira Meixner won it last season and senior Tara Delaney won two years ago.

“To get her first collegiate win and to do it in the conference championship, I think (it) will have special meaning,” Morrow said. “Playing well with the lead — that’s difficult to do, but she stepped up and did it.”

But Dreher was far from the only Flashes’ golfer to perform well this season. All five Kent State players to compete this weekend finished in the top 10, and four finished in the top five.

“We’re a very, very deep team and any one of the five starters can (score) low on any hard golf course,” Morrow said. “The depth of the team and the talent that we have is obviously the class of the MAC and probably one of the better teams in the country.”

The MAC Championships was the first major tournament of the stretch run for the Flashes. They will play at the NCAA Regionals on May 8-10, and the NCAA Championships are from May 20-23.

“We’re really excited to go to Regionals,” Dreher said. “Since we haven’t finished out of the top five (in tournaments) at all this year, I think we’re pretty confident going into regionals.

“Once we make it to nationals, if we do, we’re all just really excited to get there. We know that after how we played (yesterday) and how we’ve been playing lately that we can do anything when we get to nationals. I don’t think there’s any limit on how we can play.”

The women’s golf team has existed at Kent State for 10 seasons, and the Flashes have won the MAC in each of those seasons.

Dreher has been around for three of those championships now, and she said she’s not tired of seeing the team win.

“It definitely does not ever get old,” Dreher said. “It feels pretty good.”


Top five teams at MAC Championships

1. Kent State: +25

2. Eastern Michigan: +76

3. Toledo: +80

4. Western Michigan: +120

5. Ball State: +125

Contact sports reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].