Women’s golf wins IIAC title

by Alysun O'Brien

The Simpson women’s golf team has finished off its year by achieving one of its biggest goals – winning the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship.

“It would have been disappointing if it hadn’t turned out this way,” said junior Amber DeRiemacker. “We set goals and all of our hard work paid off.”

The women won the tournament this past weekend in Waverly, Iowa with junior Senta Willenborg taking first place and DeRiemacker coming in second.

“This was a big tournament to win,” said Willenborg. “I was happy to win individually and as a team.”

Sophomore Janelle Claiborne placed fourth, but was also given the honor of the conference’s Most Valuable Player.

“It’s an honor to be named MVP,” said Claiborne. “But I think it should be a team honor and not just given to me individually.”

The rest of the scores that rounded out Simpson’s victory included junior Karen Smith placing seventh and freshman Steph Schenfeld placing eighth. Freshman Kenna Heater lost in a sudden death playoff to Loras’ Megan Reiter for the tenth place spot.

“[Going into the Conference meet] our average was 20 strokes better than the closest team to us,” said DeRiemacker. “But Friday was our key day. The average score was 105 and we didn’t have one player shooting in the 100’s.”

The Storm lost only one meet during the fall season as it lived up to high expectations for the year.

“I thought we did well from the very beginning,” said Claiborne. “We established ourselves as the dominant team and continued to be the dominant team all the way through, winning the conference tournament.”

The women seem to have a feel for each other’s game and know when someone needs to step up and help another teammate out.

“If one of us was having a bad round, the rest of the team was there to help pick them up,” said Willenborg. “We compliment each other, which helped us achieve what we did as a team.”

The team is now looking to its spring season and has high hopes of achieving its goal to be at nationals.

“We have a good chance of going to nationals after being conference champs and winning every meet but one,” said Claiborne. “But we have to wait until the spring to see what happens.”

The Storm has established itself as a team that can go farther and do more with nationals within reach.

“We think we can make it to Nationals,” said Willenborg. “We just have to keep our average down. We know we can compete with the people there and we’re hoping for a good finish.”

The Storm credits much of its success to Head Coach Bob Darrah.

“I think Coach Darrah did a great job,” said DeRiemacker. “I just wish he could have been given the honor he deserved [as IIAC Coach of the Year].”