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The Antelope

Golf looks to qualify for regionals

The 2019 Loper Women’s golf team at their first tournament of the spring in Arizona.

Lopers seated ninth, top 12 teams advance to tourney.

BY: Hanna Hake

This has been a busy spring for the Loper women’s golf team. With NCAA regionals coming up in early May, the Lopers have been  practicing and playing in tournaments around the country to qualify for the regional tournament.

The women’s golf team placed fifth at the Hardscrabble Invitational in Fort Smith, Arkansas (April 8-9). In the rare 54 hole competition, UNK shot a score of 933 led by Ogallala senior Maaika Mestl who was individually tied for seventh in the tournament.

The team has already put a great amount of effort into this spring season.

“This year we’re working really hard, practicing a lot more and really trying to eliminate our weaknesses, and utilize our talents,” said Danielle Dickerson, a senior from Mooresville, North Carolina. “We have a couple new team members this year, so that will really help us now and in building for the future.”

The UNK golf team is currently ranked ninth in the NCAA Central Region. Only the top 12 teams qualify for regionals. They will be played in Muskogee, Oklahoma. 

Last season the Lopers qualified for the MIAA Regional Tournament in St. Louis, Missouri for the second time in school history. 

At the Regional Tournament, the top five UNK golf members competed as a team, and last year the other team members went to Missouri to support their team members. 

“It’s nice for the younger members who didn’t qualify for our traveling team to come along and see the atmosphere of a big tournament like (regionals). It gives them experience and a desire to try hard and get there to compete next time,” said Dickerson.

To qualify for Regionals, teams play multiple tournaments throughout the school year against other schools. Head-to-head scores are calculated for each team that attends tournaments. These scores are used, along with tournament placements and overall stroke counts, to tabulate which teams qualify for Regionals each spring. 

The Lopers will be back in action at the MIAA Championships in Mayetta, Kansas (April 22-24).

The sun setting over the golf course as the UNK golf team practices.

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