– Following a strong fall season, the Waldorf University women’s golf team aims to continue making an impact in each outing this spring.
The Warriors scored two tournament victories during the fall, winning the NIACC Fall Invitational and the Waldorf Invitational.
“We had a successful fall season with some very good events, including two tournament wins,” Waldorf coach Mark Clouse said. “Our women’s team is solid and I expect them to be very competitive this spring.”
The Warriors concluded the fall portion of the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Championships sitting in third place in the team standings after turning in a team score of 701 strokes on Sept. 26-27 at Albert Lea, Minn.
Waldorf has made strides in developing its game on the putting green.
“The team has been working hard on their short game during the offseason and I am anxious to see the improvement on the golf course,” Clouse said.
Fernanda Valdes led the Warriors during the fall, averaging 80.67 strokes per round. The junior from Morelia, Mexico won the Waldorf Invitational in September with a 75-stroke finish on the par-68 layout at Forest City’s Bear Creek Golf Course. Valdes locked up five top-five finishes in the fall. She has amassed top-10 performances in 27 of the 28 events during her collegiate career.
Valdes currently holds fourth place in the individual conference standings with a score of 165 following rounds of 83 and 82 on the par-72 layout at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club. She has her sights set on securing a bid to the National Association of Intercollegiate Association (NAIA) National Championships, scheduled for May 23-26 at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
“Fernanda has been consistent for us,” Clouse said. “She has an opportunity to qualify for the national tournament with a strong showing at the conference tournament. We will use the tournaments leading up to the NSAA Championships to prepare for the event.”
Maggie Peters posted an average of 83.67 strokes during the fall. The senior from Jewell claimed the NIACC Fall Invitational title with a 5-over-par score of 75 at the Fort Dodge Country Club in September. Peters turned in three top-10 finishes during the fall. She currently sits in a 13th-place tie in the conference standings with a score of 177 on rounds of 88 and 89.
“Maggie is the lone senior on the team and she is looking to finish her collegiate career on a high note,” Clouse said.
Halle Hauer compiled an 85.56-stroke average during the fall. The junior from River Falls, Wis. tallied two top-five finishes and three top-10 finishes in the fall season. Hauer is tied for ninth in the conference standings with a 174 after shooting rounds of 88 and 89.
Junior Kailee Ward holds a 17th-place tie in the conference standings with a 185 following rounds of 91 and 94. Sophomore Haleigh Biernacki is tied for 22nd, behind a score of 196 after carding rounds of 99 and 97.
“Halle, Kailee and Haleigh have all been consistent players for the team,” Clouse said.
“I also look for both Mckenzie and Haley to make significant contributions to our team’s success,” Clouse said.
Waldorf begins the spring season in the two-day Graceland Invitational, which is scheduled to start on Friday at 9 a.m. at Maryville, Mo. Like many teams competing in the tournament, the Warriors will be focusing on areas to fine-tune their game.
“The Graceland Invitational will be the first spring event for many teams,” Clouse said. “The tournament will be a great opportunity to measure our progress and see what our strengths and weaknesses are early in the season.”
The Warriors close out the NSAA Championships on April 24-25 when they complete the final two rounds of the cumulative 64-hole tournament in Onalaska, Wis. Bellevue University, ranked No. 25 in the latest NAIA poll, leads the NSAA team standings with a score of 659. Viterbo University (684) is currently in second ahead of Waldorf (701), the University of Jamestown (716), Valley City State University (800), Dickinson State University (821) and Presentation College (1,496).
Waldorf’s talent and abilities are expected to be driving forces for the Warriors as they set out to put together a strong spring season.
“Our women’s program is young and talented,” Clouse said. “I’m hoping our indoor practice and strength and conditioning will translate into success on the golf course.”