2011 Calvin Women’s Golf Outlook
Sunday, August 14, 2011
With four returning letterwinners and an incoming freshmen class of four student-athletes, the Calvin women’s golf team will feature one of its largest rosters in recent memory. It also could feature one of its most talented rosters as well.
Returning letterwinners include juniors Elise Doezema (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) and Rachel Whitaker (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Northern HS) and sophomores Carlia Canto (Marysville/Port Huron Northern HS) and Melissa Shepard (Lowell/Lowell HS).
Incoming freshmen include twins Lauren and Jaclyn Richert (Port Huron/Port Huron Northern HS), Kristen Lawler (Bellevue, WA/Bellevue Christian HS) and Rachel Potoczek (Stow, OH/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy).
“We have a strong group of returning players and a talented incoming freshmen class,” said Calvin women’s golf coach Jerry Bergsma. “We are eagerly anticipating the start of the 2011 fall season.”
A two-sport athlete who also plays on the Calvin women’s tennis team, Doezema returns for her third year on the Calvin women’s golf team. A year ago she landed a spot on the All-MIAA second team with an average of 87.2 strokes-per-round in conference play, ranking third on the Calvin single-season list. She was particularly effective in the fall MIAA Tournament where she finished tied for fourth in the 36-hole tournament with back-to-back rounds of 81. Doezema’s efforts landed her a spot on the all-tournament team.
A member of the 2010-11 MIAA Academic Honor Roll, Whitaker had a solid first-year on the Calvin women’s golf team last fall, averaging 104.2 strokes-per-round. She carded a season-best score of 96 on the final day of the fall MIAA Tournament and then kept the momentum going in the spring, carding rounds of 98 and 96 at league tournaments hosted by Olivet and Saint Mary’s respectively.
Canto had superb freshman campaign, just missing a spot on the All-MIAA second team last fall while averaging 86.4 strokes-per-round which ranks as the second-best single-season average in Calvin women’s golf history. During the opening week of the season, she was named the MIAA Golfer of the Week after firing a school record score of 77 in a non-conference dual match with Aquinas at the Scott Lake Golf Club. She later fired four sub-90 rounds in conference play including an 83 at the first league tournament of the year that was good for a tie for second place individually. She then recorded three consecutive rounds under 90 during the MIAA spring season.
A member of the 2010-11 MIAA Academic Honor Roll, Shepard was a regular member of the Calvin lineup as a freshman and came up with a career-best score of 99 on the final day of the fall MIAA Tournament.
Along with Canto, Jaclyn and Lauren Richert will feature three Port Huron Northern High School graduates on the Calvin roster. Jaclyn Richert was a qualifier for the Michigan High School Division I state finals last fall. Lawler and Potoczek were solid members of their high school squads and will also look to make a mark on the Calvin squad this fall.
A year ago Calvin finished seventh in the final MIAA team standings with an average of 384.2 strokes-per-round. The league once again featured a host of talented teams as Saint Mary’s, Olivet and Hope were all ranked nationally during the year with Saint Mary’s eventually finished fourth and Olivet 10th at the NCAA III Championships in the spring.
“Every year our league is very deep and this year should be no different,” said Bergsma. “Our biggest goal this fall is to drop our team average by several strokes. I think we are very capable of reaching that goal. If we lower our average, the rest will take care of itself.”
Calvin will open its season on September 6 at a tournament hosted by North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. The Knights will then compete at the two-day (September 9 and 10) Olivet Invitational and will later compete at the Alma Invitational on September 24. There will also be four league tournaments beginning on September 15 at Trine’s Zollner Golf Course. The 36-hole MIAA (fall) Tournament will take place on October 7 and 8 at the Bedford Valley Country Club in Battle Creek. The top four teams in the final fall standings will then be eligible to compete for the MIAA’s automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament when the league holds three qualifying rounds in the spring.