New faces take to the links for Mavs

Mesa State College women’s golf coach Scott Hansen isn’t quite sure what to expect today.

The Mavericks tee up for not only their first tournament of the fall in the Chadron State College Invitational in Scottsbluff, Neb., but three of the golfers are teeing up for their first collegiate tournament. It’s Hansen’s first tournament as a coach also.

Only senior Sadie Peavler (Starr Valley, Wyo.) returns for the Mavericks, who are picked to finish second in the RMAC behind Western New Mexico again.

“Sadie should be focused on winning golf tournaments,” Hansen said. “That’s how she’s been playing. She’s a good chipper and putter. She hits it long and straight. Her challenge is to realize what kind of player she is.

“The others will have to see how they react as freshmen.”

Afton Balling (Cody, Wyo.), Jessica Bevre (Farmington, N.M.) and Jennifer Hilts (Bend, Ore.) will play and score for the Mavericks in the two-day Chadron State tournament.

Fruita Monument High School graduate Whitney Brofos is awaiting to be cleared to play by the NCAA
Clearinghouse. Central graduate Valorie Hoppe will have to sit out at least the fall while waiting for academic credits to transfer from her previous school.

“Afton is very steady and hits it straight,” Hansen said. “Even when she misses it, she misses it straight. If she hits it good, she’ll hit more greens. I’m not concerned about her.

“Jessica is similar to Afton. If she can hit it farther, she’ll be better. She has a tendency to not fully release the club.
Jennifer can hit it a long way. She needs to be more consistent with ball flight. That’s where she’ll need to tighten it up. Her scores are settling down a bit.”

With three freshmen playing their first college tournaments, Hansen’s goals are aimed more at their scores than their places.

“Obviously we want to win every tournament we enter and improve on our scores, but I have no idea what the level of competition is going to be,” Hansen said. “I might be blowing smoke to think we’ll go in and dust them.

“I’ll know more after this first one. If Sadie keeps playing well, the others have something to shoot for. Three twenty is one of their best scores. We’ll use that as a compass and see if we can shoot under that by the end of the fall. If we got there it would be good. Have all the talent, but don’t know how react in tournament play.”

The Mavericks host their invitational next Monday and Tuesday at Tiara Rado Golf Course before finishing the fall season with tournaments in Phoenix, Minneapolis and Lakewood.

The RMAC Championships and NCAA tournament is in the spring.


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