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Swarthmore men’s golf travels to (not so) sunny Florida

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When someone brings up “spring break trip to Florida,” beaches, parties, and sunny weather tend to come to mind. Well, over spring break this year, the men’s golf team did exactly that, a spring break trip to Florida, but without the beaches, parties, and even, at times, without the sun.

Departing on Sunday, March 11, the Swarthmore golf team and their two coaches flew to 59-degree Jacksonville, and then drove an hour south to the World Golf Village (WGV), a golf resort in St. Johns County, Florida. Created by the PGA Tour in 1998, the WGV boasts the World Golf Hall of Fame, along with two 18-hole championship courses: the Slammer & Squire and the King & Bear.

The Slammer & Squire was built as a collaborative effort between Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen. The two former PGA Tour stars shared a desire to build a course that rewards good shots while preserving the area’s natural beauty.

The King & Bear, on the other hand, is the only course in the world that has been co-designed by golf legends Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. It offers a mixture of two different design styles. In Florida Golf Magazine, Palmer expressed his opinion of the course.

“The holes at The King & The Bear have a variety and blend of Jack’s and my ideas that resulted in an example of golf course architecture that may not be attempted again.”

The front nine sports an open, undulating layout that honors the heritage and history of St. Augustine. The back nine is more “traditional Florida,” with 200-year-old oaks and numerous water bodies in play.

In the six days that the men’s golf team was at the WGV, they played six rounds of 18 holes, alternating between both of these courses. The trip was aimed at having the team play a lot of golf before the season picks up in the spring.

The weather in the Northeast hasn’t been so favorable, and as a result, several golf courses in the area have delayed their opening dates. Traveling to Florida was a great way to get in rounds of golf in order to prepare the team for the abrupt season start shortly after spring break.

Besides just improving their games, the trip to Florida also provided a fantastic bonding experience for the entire team. Spring break was the first time that the new first-years on the team got a chance to meet Vamsi Damerla ’19, a captain who was abroad during the first semester.

Vice-captain Daniel Altieri ’19 expressed his opinion on the trip.

“Spring break is a great time for the whole team to spend quality time together. Between practicing during the day and hanging out at night, it was great for all of us to have this trip, especially since the intense nature of the spring season doesn’t allow for much downtime.”

Vice-captain Nick DiMaio ’19 also shared a similar attitude.

“When we were off the course, we had a great time watching March Madness together. As an upperclassman, it was great to get to know the young players a little better and build team chemistry.”

Towards the end of the trip, the team bonded at TopGolf, a golf range with a sports-bar vibe, which included food, drinks, and TV. It gives people the opportunity to have casual competitions, as several large, user-friendly target areas out on the range are able to register the microchipped balls hit by players.

On Friday, the team played a final round at the Slammer & Squire and headed back to the Jacksonville airport to fly back to Swarthmore. The trip to Florida was successful in improving the players’ games, bringing the team together, and preparing them for the upcoming season.

The first tournament of the spring will be held this weekend. Half of the team will travel to Hershey, Pa., to compete in the Hershey Cup, while the other half will be heading to Williamstown, N.J., to play at Arcadia Invitational.

The team seem to be in great shape for these tournaments and those to follow. Altieri gave his thoughts on the 2018 season.

“I believe that this team is something special. Last year, coming in second in the conference tournament showed us that we can compete with the other guys out there. Our solid play in the fall makes me excited for how we can play this spring, and come the end of April, the rest of the conference will see what we can do.”

DiMaio highlighted the talent he sees in the Juniors and first-years on the team.

“We are expecting big things for this season. With a solid core of junior players and the addition of some key freshmen, we have our eyes set on making NCAAs this year.”

All in all, the men’s golf team is optimistic for the coming season. Fresh off of six rounds of golf in Florida, the team feel prepared to bring out their best and bring the conference championship to Swarthmore.

Garent Sports Update

in Fall/Men/Sports/Women by

As we wrap up our first month back on campus, our fall Garnet athletes are right in the thick of their competition schedules. A number of teams have events this weekend.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country

Our cross-country teams travel to Bethlehem, Pa., this weekend to compete in Lehigh University’s 44th Annual Paul Short Run. They will be among the 6,000 athletes and 450 colleges and high schools competing in the the nation’s largest intercollegiate cross country meet.

Men’s Golf

Our Men’s Golf team travels to The Bridges Golf Club to compete in McDaniel College’s Mason-Dixon Collegiate Classic this Saturday and Sunday.

Women’s Field Hockey

Our Field Hockey team hosts Franklin and Marshall College at home Saturday at noon. The Garnet will try to keep their momentum from last week’s Penalty Shootout win against McDaniel and hope to improve to .500 in Centennial Conference play.

Women’s Soccer

Our 10th-ranked Women’s Soccer team hosts Franklin and Marshall College at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Garnet will try to rebound from their first loss of the season last Saturday at McDaniel and hope to continue their undefeated record at home this season.

Men’s Soccer

Our Men’s Soccer team hosts Johns Hopkins at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Garnet hope to remain undefeated in Centennial Conference play as they face the undefeated and 11th-ranked Hopkins team.

Men’s Tennis

Our Men’s Tennis team travels to Fredericksburg, Va., to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association regionals this Friday to Sunday. Our Women’s team competed in their ITA regionals last weekend.

Women’s Volleyball

Our Women’s Volleyball team hosts the Swarthmore Quad tournament this Friday through Saturday in our very own Tarble Pavilion. The Garnet will compete Friday at 7 p.m. against Oneonta, Saturday at 10 a.m. against Widener, and Saturday at 4 p.m. against Cabrini. Oneonta, Widener, and Cabrini will also compete against one another in neutral site games at Tarble Pavilion.

Men’s Golf Swings Into Action

in Men by

The Garnet Men’s Golf team returns to action next week, as they embark on a trip down to Sea Island, Georgia, where they will play their annual Spring Break season kick-off tournament. They began practice this week and already see promise for the upcoming season.

“The spring season started on Monday. We went to the driving range and hit some golf balls,” Max Katz-Balmes 20, a freshman member of the team said.

Golf season means warm weather is coming, and Katz-Balmes is excited about finally getting outside to practice.

“It’s been a rough winter being cooped up in the Mullan Tennis Center, where we can practice indoors. I’m excited to finally get back out there and play some golf again,” Katz-Balmes said.

Drew Langan ’17 agreed, and thought the first practice went well.

“Personally, I feel that my personal game is the best it has been at this point in the year than it has in the previous three years,” Langan said. “From what I’ve seen, the rest of the team seems to be playing at a higher level than past opening practices as well.”

Like Swarthmore’s other spring sports, Men’s Golf will be participating in a team travel trip over spring break. Unlike most other sports, Golf’s first competition will be during the trip. They will be playing at a world-class course in Sea Island, Georgia that has hosted numerous professional golfers including Davis Love III, Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson.

At the tournament, the Swarthmore team will not compete against conference foes, so the team will look to use the tournament to get back into competition form. They also have a two week gap between spring break and their first season tournament, so they will have more time to work before their season fully kicks into gear.

Langan thinks the mental side of the game will be key for the team in the upcoming season.

“In golf, you’re really playing against par and your own scores. We have a lot of potential this year, so we need to find a better level of consistency than in the past,” Langan said.

Langan is correct when he talks about the team’s potential. In the fall, the team set a school record for lowest round score and Nick DiMaio ’19 set the school record for lowest individual score. The team also returns Vamsi Damerla ’19, who was the Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year last season. All of the starting five from last year will return, and there is a talented freshman class to help fill out the depth of the team. All of this talent is anchored by the leadership of Langan and Michael Chen ’17.

“Drew and Mike are stand-up gentlemen. They are very organized and have helped mentor the younger golfers well. They also have been helpful in learning to balance their academics with our athletics,” Katz-Balmes said.

Going forward, the team has two big tournaments before they reach the Centennial Conference Championship. The McDaniel Invitational and the Hershey Cup will both feature high-level competition against conference foes, and the McDaniel Invitational will be held at the same course as the Conference Championship. Both events will be barometers for team performance in advance of the championship, and will be crucial preparation for the team’s ultimate goal for the year.

“My personal goal along with most of my teammates is to keep my scoring average in the 70s, and doing so will help us achieve our team goal of winning a conference championship,” Langan said.

The team led after the first day of the Conference Championship tournament last year, and has only improved their squad since then. If the team plays well and continues to focus, we may see another Conference Championship banner added to the rafters in Tarble Pavilion.

Team of the Week: Men’s Golf

in Athlete of the Week/Sports by

This past week the Swarthmore Golf team traveled to Bent Creek Country Club, home field of the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats, to participate in the F&M Fall Invitational. The event for the Garnet was historic to say the least. Nick DiMaio ’19 set the record for lowest individual score, and the team collectively set the record for lowest score in the college’s history. The Garnet crushed other Centennial Conference opponents, topping F&M by nine strokes and Muhlenberg by 19.


You guys set the record for lowest team score in school history. What was the journey like?

Drew Langan ’17: “We haven’t sniffed the record in a couple years. We got within three strokes my sophomore year. It was pretty special for us, and showed we have the potential to go out and win conferences.”

Nick DiMaio ’19: “Coming in as a freshman, I understand being on this team is something bigger than myself. By working hard in practice every week, we took every step possible to be the best. Every guy playing their best on one day, adding up to group success.”

Dan Altieri ’19: “It feels really cool, beating them by so many strokes. With three sophomores and one freshman, having young talent make a mark on team history was remarkable. We have more years to do it and hope to break our own records.”


How does it feel to take down Franklin and Marshall on their home field?

Nick DiMaio ’19: “It was pretty big for us, especially since it’s their home tournament. They’ve defended themselves very well, year after year, considering it’s their tournament. Beating them is big for our confidence moving forward.”

Dan Altieri ’19: “This is the only time we’ve beaten them. They have lots of school pride, so being able to do well against them on Monday was a good feeling. We’re going to be a force to reckoned with this year.”


You guys were performed very well last year. What’s been the difference?

Drew Langan ’17: “More depth. We had three great freshman last year. It’s tough to adjust in college, but they did a great job. We’ve seen big time improvements from the sophomores, and  really saw that with Nick breaking his individual record on Monday. They’ve taken their game to the next level.”

Nick DiMaio ’19: “We have a lot of experience. We started three freshman last year. Now that we’ve seen some of these courses, we know how to attack them.”


What was your role in the record-breaking performance?

Vamsi Damerla ’19: “I shot a 71, which is my personal low round here at Swat. We’ve been saying all season that our starters are all playing well, but we just haven’t played well on the same day. It finally came together on Monday. We were hoping we’d have a round where everything clicked.”


Weekend Roundup

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The team (16-5) was off this past weekend. This Saturday, 4/2, they travel to Dickinson for a doubleheader—their first conference games of the season. Heading into Conference play, Ryan Burnett ’17 leads the league in steals (13), Aidan Miller ’17 leads the league in saves (4) and Joe Jackson ’18 ranks second in home runs (4).

Women’s Tennis:

Last Saturday, the Garnet (3-3, 2-0 CC) made quick work of McDaniel, sweeping all of their matches (9-0). In the nine matches, the women only dropped eight games total. Maria Cuervo ’18, Ashley Gao ’18 and Arya Jemal ’19 all won by the score 6-0, 6-0. Jemal, with her partner Amanda Izes ’19, also won her doubles match without conceding a game (8-0). Her impressive play earned her the title of Conference Player of the Week for March 21-27. The Garnet’s next opponent is The College of New Jersey. They will face-off this Saturday at the Faulkner Courts.

Men’s Tennis:

The men’s tennis team (5-5, 1-0 CC), ranked 31st in the country, also had a great Saturday, pulling off a 7-2 upset victory against 20th-ranked Washington & Lee. It began with a sweep of all three doubles matches, with the teams of John Larkin ’16 and Blake Oetting ’18, Mark Fallati ’18 and Josh Powell ’18, and Ari Cepelewicz ’18 and Simon Vernier ’19 earning the wins. Then, in singles play, the Garnet won the No. 1, No. 3, No. 5, and No. 6 matches. Fallati, after winning in doubles and the No.1 match, was named Centennial Conference Player of the Week. The team’s next opponent will be conference rivals Johns Hopkins on Saturday at home.

Men’s Lacrosse:

Despite an impressive 4-2 start to the season, the men’s lacrosse team lost 18-8 against Ursinus on Saturday in their first conference game of the season. After Ursinus went up 9-1 in the first quarter, the closest the Garnet ever got was a six-goal deficit in the second quarter. Matt Johnson ’18, who had missed two games due to injury, had a team-high three goals. Overall, though, the Garnet were outdone offensively, as they were outshot by Ursinus 45-25. The team will be looking for a better outcome in their next game at non-conference opponent Misericordia on Saturday.

Women’s Lacrosse:

This past weekend, Swarthmore (3-4, 0-1 CC) traveled to Ursinus for their first conference match. After a hot start that included two goals each from Elizabeth Upton ’16 and Lizzie Kolln ’16, the Garnet burst out to a 9-2 lead. However, in the second half, the lead quickly dissipated and the game went into overtime. With 22 seconds left in period, Swarthmore conceded a goal which capped off Ursinus’ impressive comeback. The team hopes to rebound in their next conference match against Bryn Mawr this Saturday at Clothier Field.


This weekend the Garnet finished fifth out of eleven teams at the McDaniel Spring Invitational. Nick DiMaio ’19 led the Garnet, shooting a +6. He placed sixth out of sixty-three participants. Michael Chen ’17 also had a good weekend, shooting a +9 and finishing in 12th place. The Garnet play their next match on April 3 at Hershey Country Club.


The past week did not go so well for the softball team, who struggled through a five-game losing streak that was finally broken Tuesday night. The first two losses were during a doubleheader on Thursday against Widener, in which the Garnet were outscored by a total of 16-2. Against Penn State in a doubleheader on Saturday, the team didn’t fare much better despite playing at home and lost both games. Things were starting to look grim when the Garnet lost the first game of the doubleheader against Muhlenberg, but they finally came through in the nightcap for a 3-2 victory. Despite starting down 2-0, the team rallied back in the fifth with runs from Marit Vike ’19, Amanda Lopez ’19, and Sara Planthaber ’17. Now, the team has a chance to build some momentum in their next matchup, a doubleheader at conference opponents Gettysburg on Saturday.


On Sunday, the women’s badminton team went out to Edison, N.J., to compete in the Northeast Collegiate Championship. There, they placed third out of five teams in the Division 2B bracket with a 2-2 record, earning wins against University of Connecticut and University of Massachusetts Amherst. Mary Htet ’19 and Hailie Xie ’19 both won eight games. The team’s next competition will be the Pennsylvania State Open on April 8-9.

Weekend Roundup

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Field Hockey

The field hockey team came out with intensity in their home game against Ferrum College last Saturday, which they ultimately won 4-0. With 38 shots taken by the Garnet compared to Ferrum’s two, Ferrum had no choice but to give in to the unrelenting pressure.

As it was also Senior Day for the Garnet, the five seniors were honored prior to the game: Audrey Allen ’16, Julia Thomas’ 17, Erin Gluck ’16, Laura Hyder ’16, and goalkeeper Ainsley Parrish ’16. They lived up to the honor by contributing a fair share to the win. Gluck scored the first goal of the game in the 17th minute, her team-high 14th goal of the season. She also added an assist later on. Allen scored the second goal of the game. Parrish saved one of the two shots taken by Ferrum, helping the Garnet keep a clean sheet. Notable performances among non-seniors include Jane Blicher ’18, who scored the third goal of the game, and Kathleen Carmichael ’19, who scored the last goal of the game in the 45th minute.

The team’s record currently stands at 4-12 overall and 0-8 in-conference. Their next game will be at Bryn Mawr on Friday, followed by their last game of the regular season at Haverford on Saturday. This will give the Garnet two opportunities to add wins to their subpar conference record before they close out their season.

Men’s Soccer

Although they took a 1-0 lead against Dickinson last Saturday, the men’s soccer team ultimately ended the game in a 1-1 tie. After a scoreless first half, Michael Nazfiger ’18 got the Garnet on the board with a goal in the 59th minute off a corner by Billy Evers ’17. However, the team let the lead slip away in the 83rd minute as Dickinson capitalized on a dangerous set piece situation. The Garnet couldn’t put in a goal in the final minutes of regulation, pushing the game into overtime. The game remained locked in the tie despite Dickinson’s four corners and the Garnet’s two shots during the period.

The tie put the Garnet at fifth place in the conference standings, which is the final spot that gets to play in the postseason conference tournament. They entered the game in sixth place, so the tie was not a failure in the end as it pushed them into playoff position. Their conference record, as of that game, stands at 2-2-3.

The Garnet’s next and final game will be at Haverford on Saturday. There, they will hope to clinch a playoff spot and keep their season alive. If they do qualify for the Centennial Conference playoffs, the first round game will be this Wednesday.

Women’s Soccer

After going undefeated throughout the season, the women’s soccer team finally saw their streak end last Saturday, when they were handed their first loss by Montclair State at home. The game was close, but the Garnet ultimately could not recover from an early goal by Montclair that ended up deciding the match, which ended with a score of 1-0.

The matchup was bound to be intense, as it pitted the 13th-ranked Garnet against the 19th-ranked Montclair. Montclair scored with a header off of a free kick in the 15th minute. The Garnet tried to rebound as it had been able to do so often this season, taking control of the game’s pace and flow but being unable to score by the end of the first half. The second half was a similar story, as the Garnet outshot Montclair 8-4. Katie Dougherty ’18 finished the game with 5 shots, a mark of her strong effort to put in the equalizer despite not being able to do so.

The team honored its nine seniors prior to the game. They were Tazmin Bailiff-Curtis ‘16, Amanda Bosworth ’16, Emily Gale ’16, Caela Long ’16, Reba Magier ’16, Cappy Pitts ’16, Aine Schanche ’16, Emily Telford-Marx ’16 and Melissa Trofa ’16.

Despite the loss, the team’s record stands at an impressive 13-1-1 overall, and 7-0-1 in conference play. The Garnet will have their undefeated conference record tested twice more, as they will face Bryn Mawr at home on Thursday and finish the regular season at Haverford on Saturday. The conference playoffs begin on Wednesday, with locations and matchups to be determined.

Men’s Golf

The men’s golf team ended their fall season last Saturday at the Rutgers Camden Invitational at Pennsauken Country Club. They played on a par-70, 6250 yard course. Out of 14 teams, the Garnet ended the invitational in a respectable fifth place with a 327, 20 strokes behind first place Rutgers University-Camden.

Individually, the team had a few impressive performances. Nick DiMaio ’19 had the best results for the team, tying for 3rd place out of 72 individual competitors. He shot a 76, 6 strokes behind the first place individual. Dan Altieri ’19 placed 17th after shooting an 82, with Drew Langan ’17, Andrew Pak ’16, and Thomas Kim ’16 all shooting in the 80s as well.

With the fall season done, the Garnet will now be looking to improve on their results, individually and as a team, going into the spring season.


Over the weekend, the women’s volleyball team went out to the Eastern University Quad-Match in St. Davids, Pennsylvania with high hopes. Unfortunately, they didn’t fare very well, losing all three of their matches in three sets, 3-0. Their first loss was on Friday against Stockton, followed by losses on Saturday against Susquehanna and Eastern.

Against Stockton, Swarthmore played close in the first and third sets, which they ended up losing 25-21. Sam DuBois ’16 performed well for the team with eight digs, 19 assists, and 4 kills. The match against Susquehanna was similar, as they lost the first set 25-21 and 25-23. Eastern, ranked 14th in the country, proved to be too difficult of a matchup for the Garnet to stay close as they were outclassed in the three sets 25-19, 25-16, and 25-17.

The Garnet fared much better in their Senior Day match last Tuesday, defeating Bryn Mawr at home in three sets 25-15, 25-21, 25-12. The three seniors, Sam Dubois ’16, Madison Heppe ’16, and Anastasia White-Torruellas ’16, were honored before the game. Dubois had eight digs and 27 assists, a match-high, while Heppe led the team with 10 digs. Olivia Leventhal ’18 impressed with 17 kills, as did Malia Scott ’18 with 13 assists and nine digs.

Thanks to their dominance in Centennial Conference play, where they have an 8-1 record, the Garnet has already clinched a spot in the conference playoffs. Their last match will be at Haverford on Saturday; if they win, the Garnet will earn home-court advantage for the semifinals and finals if they make it through to those rounds.

Men’s golf perseveres despite small numbers

in Sports by

The men’s golf team has faced a host of challenges this season. They began spring competition in bitingly cold weather and have had to grow accustomed to relocating their practices to a new course after losing their previous one, Rolling Green. The team has attempted to combat these problems with their recent two-day match against McDaniel, in which they placed 7th out of 18 schools.

“The first day was really cold,” Michael Chen ’17 explained. “You want as much movement as possible but whenever you’re layered up to that degree it’s constricting and kind of tough to move but you just have to play as best you can.”

Although the weather was far from ideal, the team played a good first day and played even better in the second day of the tournament. Senior captain Andrew Park was leading the tournament at one point but tied for eighth overall.

“As a team I feel like we played pretty well,” Chen said. “We played a lot better on the second day and really came back from our performance on the first. Three of our scores were in the 70’s which is really good – that’s all we can really hope for.”

The 18-team match included three of their biggest competitors: Franklin and Marshall, McDaniel and Ursinus. F&M stands at first place in the Centennial Conference and has passed the championship title back and forth with McDaniel since 2005. In the pre-season poll, F&M was also selected to place first while Swarthmore was projected to come in at third behind second-place McDaniel.

“F&M has a really solid team this year. Three of their players tied for first in the conference as individuals, so we have huge competition to face when you take that into account,” Chen said. However, McDaniel poses less of a threat. “McDaniel is actually pretty close in competition with us this year because they lost their number one, so we might be able to rally against them,” he explained.

Swarthmore also graduated four seniors last year, three of which were almost always present in conference play. “We’re a little short on players this year,” Head Coach Jim Heller explained. “I usually have ten players but we lost four seniors and one player is abroad.”

This year, the team has a total of 8 players, including Amanda Beebe ’15, who competes as an individual in women’s competition. Furthermore, the team often finds it difficult to find four players to compete in matches due to individual scheduling conflicts and small team numbers to begin with. “I remember last year we would have eight people at every tri-match but this year we’re struggling to get four,” Chen stated.

However the return of the top two players, Park and Chen, have helped the team remain a force to be reckoned with. Park has led the team for the past four years and has created a lasting legacy as a member of the team. “Park is a solid player,” Coach Heller said. “All of his scores are in the 70’s. He is one of the best Swarthmore players in the last twenty years.”

“We’re really glad to have him back this semester,” Chen said. “He’s been a great help in terms of scoring. It’s great to have another person who can go out there and really score and put up a good number.”

Chen has also served as a vital player to the team and has recorded three holes-in-one, the last of which occurred during the team’s spring break trip to Georgia in their match against NAIA defending champions Coastal Georgia. Although the men lost the match 319-282, Chen and Park’s performances were both in the mid 70’s.

Chen’s hole-in-one fell on the anniversary of teammate Beebe’s hole-in-one which she fired last year on their spring break trip. Coming from a large women’s team in high school to being the only woman on a men’s team marked a huge transition for Beebe. “It was a switch,” she explained. “But the guys on the team are some of my best friends. It’s really great playing with them and working with them too.”

Beebe practices with the men, joins them on their spring break trip and travels to a few meets that have individual women competitions going on simultaneously. Aside from those meets, she travels to women’s competitions on her own.

So far, Beebe has only competed in the spring break match against Coastal Georgia, McDaniel invitational, and the Eastern Invitational. The Eastern Invitational marked her best performance of the season as she placed 20th individually among 51 competitors and carded a 98.

“The Eastern Invitational went well,” she said. “Fortunately we had nice weather which is always a plus. As for my game, I’m just trying to get my swing back into rhythm and improve upon my short game that will allow me to score in upcoming tournaments.”

The competition Beebe faced at Eastern included D-III teams from the Centennial Conference as well as those outside of the conference. Gettysburg and McDaniel served as her biggest competition during the meet and are consistently the most challenging opponents she faces during her season.

“Even though it’s still early in my season, I have a number of upcoming tournament where I’ll be looking to improve my game and, as always, enjoy my final opportunities to compete,” she said. Her next tournament is this weekend at the Dickinson Invitational.

The men came home from the Hershey Invitational this past weekend and placed 13th out of 15 teams, three of which were in the top 25 D-III teams in the nation. Last night, four players competed in a tri-match at Springhaven County Club. Beebe won the women’s individual crown. Andrew Pak ’16 led the men, placing second among 13 individuals. Their next match is the Glen Maur National Invitational on Sunday.

Golf team notches best performance of season at Immaculata

in Sports by
Drew Langan shot an 81 on the par-71 course this week.
Drew Langan shot an 81 on the par-71 course this week.

This past Monday, the Swarthmore men’s golf team participated in the Immaculata Invitational, completing the course with a fifth-place performance out of a total of 12 teams. The Immaculata Invitational marks the team’s fifth, final and best fall season performance this semester.

“I think the tournament went well,” Drew Langan ’17 said as he commented on his team’s performance at its final fall season invitational. Langan shot an 81 on the par-71 course this week and finished third on Swarthmore’s four-man team. Compared to their results from last week at the Franklin & Marshall Invitational, both Langan and the rest of his team improved their performances significantly.

“Last week was a very below-average performance for us,” Langan explained. After finishing in 17th place out of 19 competing schools at the F&M tournament last Monday, their performance in the Immaculata Invitational was well received.  “We bounced back nicely from that down tournament this week,” Langan concluded.

Individual scores amongst the Swarthmore athletes continued to improve throughout this fall season as well. Yousaf Razvi ’18, who carded a 79 at the Immaculata conference, commented on his progress from last week’s performance and said, “As an individual, I had certain goals for myself and I improved off my last tournament’s performance. My score was better and if certain parts of my game continue to improve every step of the way, I’m satisfied.”

However, one problem that the team has continued to encounter this fall is their lack of consistency in tournament participation. Schools usually compete with five-man teams or even two five-man teams if they have enough bodies. However, the Garnet has often struggled to meet five this fall and often participate with four volunteers.

“We’re improving,” Michael Chen ’17 commented, who led the Garnet on Monday with a score of 78, “but we had to four-man it again-which is a little disappointing, but it happens,” Michael Chen ’17 commented.

Most of this lack of participation stems from the loss of three graduated starting seniors as well as one current senior, current team captain Andrew Park ’15 who took this fall semester off from the team due to an overload of classes.

“Last year was a good year because we had a lot of seniors committed to the program. Although our team is not as well-rounded as it was last year, we’ll get our number one [Park] back in the spring,” Chen said.

The team believes that their performance will continue to improve in the spring as they note Park’s return as well as the greater sense of dedication that often comes with the spring season. “We’re really hopeful about our prospects for the spring,” junior team captain Andrew Pak ’16 explained. “We should be a lot stronger than then now. We also tend to get a lot more serious and organized in the spring, which should definitely help our performance.”

The men also stressed the importance of the spring semester when conference championships are held, as opposed to the fall semester, which is meant to warm them up for the spring and give them a sneak peek at future conference foes. “The fall tournaments are a good way to keep up with our competition,” Chen said. “We are all definitely individually improving from last year.”

However, the team has suffered a minor setback after losing their original course, Rolling Green Golf Course, due to problems with the administration. After practicing on different courses for the first few weeks of the fall season, the team’s new practicing ground, Spring Haven, marks a definitive change in how the team will practice and compete in the spring.

“Spring Haven’s a great course, it’s just that Rolling Green was above and beyond the best course in the area, hands down. Plus we were playing there for free,” Chen commented. “They let us host Monday tournaments, but because of our change in courses, we won’t have those this year as much.”

The Monday tournaments were crucial to the team’s ability to play competitively as opposed to just going to regular team practices every week. Last year, the Garnet hosted three tournaments where other teams would come and compete in a day-long, out-of-conference tournament.

“We’re more restricted when it comes to Spring Haven,” Chen continued. “We’ll have less time to play competitively in the spring.”

However, the team is still hopeful that despite their loss of Rolling Green, they can still succeed in performing even better in conference play during the spring. Last year, the team placed third out of seven schools in conference, falling behind Franklin & Marshall as well as McDaniel.

“We didn’t beat McDaniel, which was a little disappointing to us,” Chen said as he reflected the sentiments of the rest of the team. This year, the team hopes to change that. “We’re seen as the nerds of the conference, so losing to us kind of upsets them.”

Nerds or not, the golf team’s prospects for the spring seem strong as they look forward to conference play in the spring.

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