WINONA LAKE – They are young, they are experienced, and they are ready to conquer the 2017-18 season. The Grace College women’s golf team, coached by Denny Duncan, is thrilled to be swinging the clubs once again.
In just the third year of the program’s existence, Grace already boasts an impressive group of returners. Lauren Keiser, Anna Marshall, Sydney Abbott and Libby Tully were mainstays in Grace’s lineup last year, a season which shattered expectations for the young team.
“This team has no seniors and could start four underclassmen at times, but I really don’t consider us to be a young team,” Duncan said. “Our players have so much varsity experience, and we have high expectations for this season. We are still growing, but we are going to get better in the months ahead. The future looks bright for this team.”
The Lady Lancers made tremendous strides last year as the women won four events, including the nine-team Spring Arbor Invitational. They also finished second in the NCCAA Midwest Regionals and are looking to improve even more this upcoming year. Duncan is looking for his younger players to step into the four and five positions to bolster the squad’s depth.
During the offseason, the team added three golfers to squad. Kristin Holt, daughter of Notre Dame women’s golf coach Susan Holt, comes from Penn. Three-time conference selection Rachel Harvey graduated from Southern Wells and all-league player Kara Godsey attended Worthington Christian (Ohio). “The freshmen have had excellent high school careers and enjoyed great success this summer. We need and expect immediate contributions from this group,” Duncan said.
April Bishop, Sarah Ganger and Amanda Gifford return this year and bring experience and leadership.
Duncan has many goals he wants the team to accomplish in the upcoming season. “Our first goal [is to] grow in our faith and honor Jesus Christ in everything we do.” The third-year head coach also wants to qualify for the NCCAA National Championships, finish in the top three in the Crossroads League and have a team GPA of 3.3 or higher.
The Lady Lancers open up the season with their only home match of the year on Aug. 22, at Stonehenge Golf Club. First tee time is set at 3 p.m.