Tigers get aggressive, win second MBC match
The instructions were clear for the New Richmond girls golf team at last Thursday's Middle Border Conference match: play more aggressively.
The Tigers did just that, led by Maggie Veenendall and Ashley Swiggum, in winning their second straight MBC match to start the season. The Tigers won the match by shooting a 186, finishing 15 strokes ahead of second place Ellsworth.
Veenendall produced her best round of the season thus far, shooting a 36. Swiggum made a big jump, shooting a 42, the best round of her career by three strokes.
Tiger coach Neal Ziller has been after Veenendall to play more assertively, trying to have her drive greens on certain par four holes. It paid off, especially on the ninth hole at Krooked Kreek Golf Course. Veenendall had a tap-in birdie putt after narrowly missing an eagle.
Swiggum also is becoming more trusting in her driver and it is bringing better results.
Coach Ziller said he is also seeing progress from Elise Kolbeck, Molly Hassler and Rebecca Ziller in the varsity lineup. Kolbeck shot 53 at Osceola, Hassler 55 and Ziller 56. Coach Ziller said the girls are just scratching the surface in the progress they want to make.
"It's always improvement with them. They're really out for it," he said.
The Tigers also played at the Amery Invitational last Tuesday, winning the 10-team tournament with a 392 score. Veenendall was the Tigers' top finisher with an 86, placing second overall.
St. Croix Central
The Panthers finished sixth in last Tuesday's match, but they were only 10 strokes out of third place. Sophomore Brooklyn Mishler took a big step forward, leading the Panthers by shooting 49. Audra Scott finished at 51, Abby Edelman at 53, Parker Chladek at 64 and Mikaelyn Fry at 68.
Panther coach Logan Kimberly liked the team's progress, cutting 21 strokes from their first MBC outing of the season.
"I'm happy to see some of the potential I see in practice coming through in our meets," Kimberly said. "I'm hoping we can build up our confidence from this meet because, in all honesty, we're only a few strokes from really making a big jump."
The Somerset girls are still struggling to get four players to put together the full round that will move them into contention with the other MBC teams, but the results are starting to come. Sophomore Haley Myers shot a 45 at Osceola, the Spartans' best round of the season. Cora Atkins finished at 60, Megan Erlitz at 64 and Grace Bauer at 71.
Somerset coach Kristin Flater said she thinks improvement isn't far away for the team.
"We've obviously struggled in the first two matches as a team, but I believe we can continue to work and improve," she said. "(Myers) really showed consistency playing with the best players in the conference."
The next MBC golf match will take place this Thursday at the New Richmond Golf Club.