ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The Concordia University women’s golf team entered Friday’s final conference qualifier meet of the 2014-15 season with hopes of climbing up as high as second place in the final GPAC standings. However, the Bulldogs shot a 361 and had to settle for fifth with their four-round total of 343-367-353-361–1,424.
Individually, sophomore Amy Ahlers locked up all-conference laurels for the second-straight year. She finished with a cumulative conference total of 78-84-83-85–330 (two strokes better than her GPAC score as a freshman). She placed ninth on Monday and in a tie for second on the overall GPAC leaderboard.
“We put ourselves in a position to finish second,” fourth-year head coach Brett Muller said. “We just didn’t play well today. It’s disappointing because we had higher hopes. We have the talent to be in the top two or three of the conference. With our top five all back next year, we look for a strong campaign.”
Coming off a career low 76 at the College of Saint Mary Invite for her fifth career tournament win, Ahlers expected to carry that momentum over. She ended up seven strokes off GPAC champion Lauren Fitts of Dakota Wesleyan after carding her highest qualifier score of the 2014-15 season. Ahlers averaged a team best 82.0 over 11 rounds as a sophomore.
“She was disappointed with how she finished,” Muller said. “She holds herself to very high standards, which are attainable with her talent level. That’s why today was tough on her.”
Freshman Emma Jacoby joins Ahlers with all-conference honors courtesy of her seventh-place finish (82-81-89-88–340. The Lincoln native burst onto the scene by winning the second GPAC qualifier back in the fall.
Ahlers, Jacoby and the rest of the Concordia lineup remained the same throughout all four GPAC qualifiers. The Nos. 3, 4 and 5 spots were held down by sophomore Kayla Krueger (83-91-88-94–356) and freshmen Ashlen Pospisil (100-111-93-94–398) and Brenna Gnuse (105-114-101-95–415). Gnuse showed the most improvement, shaving six strokes off her previous best qualifier round.
Krueger, a 16th-place conference finisher as a freshman, chopped three strokes off her GPAC total from a year ago. With another top-20 standing this season, Krueger has a shot to be voted as one of five wild card all-conference selections.
Dakota Wesleyan won the GPAC title for the seventh-straight year and has earned an automatic bid to the national championships.
The 2014-15 season marked a continuation of the upward trend of Concordia women’s golf. The program has gone from last place in 2012-13 to sixth in 2013-14 to fifth this season. Ahlers and company expect the climb to carry over to 2015-16.