The Kent State women’s golf team continued its dominance over the Mid-American Conference this weekend, winning its ninth consecutive MAC Championship at the Longaberger Golf Course in Nashport.
“Overall, it was a great team performance,” said coach Mike Morrow. “We played great at a great course. We had some tough conditions in the first two rounds, but I am very happy with the young ladies.”
The team finished 51-over-par for the tournament, 49 strokes ahead of second place Eastern Michigan.
“It was no different from round to round,” he said. “We never took any unnecessary chances; we just played golf and took advantage of opportunities.”
Individually, all five Flashes finished in the top 11. Junior Kira Meixner won the tournament, shooting 7-over-par, and junior Tara Delaney was second, shooting 11-over-par. Sophomores Maddi Swaney and Kirby Dreher finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“I think they raised their game to a different level this weekend,” Morrow said. “They played a tough schedule all year, and it showed today.”
But this weekend, the real competition lay within the team itself as the Flashes pushed one another to win the tournament.
“They’re all trying to do their best,” Morrow said. “They are all real competitive girls who wanted to get the win this weekend.”
As the Flashes began to show their competitive streak, Morrow began to see similarities with his previous championship teams.
“They’re all really good athletes,” he said. “They have all raised their level of play this time of year and have been very competitive.
“We’ve had quality young ladies for the last nine years. That is the key to our success.”
Junior Kira Meixner said it was important to still have goals in the final round with a big lead.
“We wanted to expand our lead today,” she said. “We pretty much knew we had it won but wanted that guarantee. “
Meixner said she hadn’t played her best golf in the past few tournaments but some mental adjustments helped her at the MAC Tournament.
“I came out with a different mindset this weekend,” she said. “I played relaxed, and I hit a lot of greens and made a lot of shots.”
Meixner said it is a little different to compete with teammates for a win.
“You can’t think about it too much,” she said. “I tried not to focus on it because I wanted to win.”
With the ninth consecutive title now obtained, Morrow envisions the program continuing its winning ways.
“Success breeds success,” he said. “When you have a good program, good players and a winning tradition you are going to win some tournaments.
“We’ve tried to do the best we can each year. We’re very blessed the athletic department has given us a lot of support, and we try to justify it by continuing to win.”
Contact Sports Reporter Jeff Russ at [email protected]