The Valparaiso University women’s golf team closed out a successful week of competition by defeating host Oakland in match play on Monday at the Motor City Cup at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. Valpo put together a strong showing throughout the event, winning two of its three matches to take third in the eight-team field. The Brown & Gold bested the Golden Grizzlies 4.0-2.0 in Monday’s third-place match.
How It Happened
- Valpo got a victory at the top of the lineup from senior Kayla Krueger (Spring Lake, Mich. / Spring Lake), who went 4&3 over Kay Zubkus, clinching the match on Hole 15. Valpo dropped the No. 2 and No. 6 matches, but the other three matches were up for grabs going into the 17th hole.
- Freshman Cailey Rooker (St. Joseph, Mich. / St. Joseph) picked up her second victory of the weekend, edging Mariella Simoncini by going 3&1. She won her match in come-from-behind fashion.
- Also on the comeback trail was freshman Maddison Murphy (Bloomington, Ill. / University), who rallied for a 2&1 victory over Sydney Martens at the No. 5 position.
- The only match that came down to the 18th hole saw sophomore Payton Hodson (Middleton, Wis. / Middleton) go two up on Emily Fleming to cap off a winning week for the Brown & Gold.
Inside the Match
- Hodson and Rooker were the two Valpo players who secured a pair of match-play wins in the event. Rooker went unblemished in Howey-In-The-Hills, picking up victories against Loyola and Oakland and “halving” against IUPUI.
- Valpo knocked off two teams ranked ahead of the squad in the GolfStat rankings by beating Loyola and Oakland in this event.
- Valpo finished third in the eight-team tournament, the program’s first Top 3 finish in a field of eight teams or more since winning the SIUE DoubleTree Invitational on Sept. 24, 2013.
- Valpo did not finish ahead of Oakland in the Horizon League Championship in any of the four seasons the two schools shared Horizon League affiliation. Valpo was an average of 30.25 strokes behind Oakland in the league championships over those four seasons, exemplifying the program’s progress leading up to Monday’s victory over the Golden Grizzlies.
Thoughts from Head Coach Jill McCoy
“It was a good week for our team. I was a little nervous today, but Payton, Cailey and Maddison all came from behind to win their matches. I’m very proud of the girls and how hard they have worked. I’m hoping we can keep the hard work going and continue this great momentum through the rest of the season.”
Valpo will next be in action on Monday, March 9 to begin the Benbow Collegiate Tournament in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.