By JACOB WOERTHER
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Jennies golf finished 69-over at the Upper Iowa Invite to claim the first victory for the program since its inception in 2012.
Head coach Chris Port said winning a tournament was something he had envisioned as a possibility for his team since last fall.
“I think all and all (a victory) has been coming,” Port said. “I told the girls at the start of the year this year that we were going to win. I just felt like we had the depth and the roster to put together the scores.”
The nearly yearlong goal began to transform into a reality following an outstanding performance on Day One of the Upper Iowa tournament. Freshman Olivia Sobaski led the tournament after shooting three-over par 75 over the first 18 holes of the tournament and the team sat comfortably in first place at 25-over.
The weather took a turn for the worse on Day Two of the tournament and forced the Jennies to play through wind and rain. Although tough conditions took a toll on the Jens Day Two score, their Day One score provided some room for error. The team managed to maintain their lead and finish 69-over, 12 strokes less than the next best team.
Three Jennies finished the tournament in the top-10. Sobaski finished in third place at 13-over, Elizabeth Leath shot 16-over to earn fourth place and Taelyn Entriken ended the tournament in eighth place after shooting 21-over.
Sobaski played a large role in the team’s first victory, but said praise should not fall on herself or even the team, but rather on coach Port.
“He’s been working hard for five years to build this program,” Sobaski said. “We’re a strong team that’s putting up scores now. We’ve moved a long way since then and we definitely owe that to him for doing such a great job for us.”
While the Jennies first tournament victory is an impressive milestone for the young program, the team refused to lose focus in the days following the victory.
“I think we can all look back on that and say it was a great accomplishment,” Sobaski said. “But we’re not going to dwell on that anymore. We’re most focused on what’s ahead of us.”
The Jennies focus on the future proved to be essential for the team as they hit the road this past Monday to compete at the NCAA Central Region Spring Preview.