Wolves back on course

September 12, 2018

CHESTERTON — Timing in sports means everything.

Teams want to be performing at their best when it matters most.

While the Michigan City girls golf isn’t necessarily peaking heading into Friday’s La Porte Sectional, the Wolves took a needed step forward in Monday’s Duneland Athletic Conference tournament at the blustery Brassie, rebounding from Friday’s struggles in the Pat Ford Invitational to finish fourth in the eight-team field with a score of 370.

“Coming in, the question was, what City team was going to show up?” coach Drew White said. “We had some struggles, but 370 is nothing to scoff at. After the Pat Ford, 370 was a welcome sight. To steal a tennis term, we held serve. We were fourth in dual matches and we were fourth in the tournament. We were where we were supposed to be. We didn’t sneak ahead of anybody else and we didn’t let anybody sneak ahead of us.”

The top four finish in the DAC is Michigan City’s first in recent memory, according to White.

“It’s a very tough conference for golf, so for us to work our way into the top four is a feather in their cap,” he said.

Taylor Skibinski’s 88 topped the Wolves, but it was a 93 by Sara Poulin, who was sick and missed Friday’s tournament, that gave White a cause for optimism that the team can go lower in the post-season. Lia Thomas shot 94 and Emily Gushrowski 95 to complete M.C.’s scoring with Emma Sells posting a 115.

“We’re happy to have her back,” he said. “She was very steady, consistent. Every time we’d say something to her on the course, ask her how it’s goinmg, she said it was going good. Lia’s been struggling with her putting and Taylor’s been struggling a little bit. We’ve got some stuff we need to get ironed out going into Friday. We’ve got matches (Tuesday and Wednesday) so I hope it’s something we can play out of with more time on the course so by the time we get to Beechwood, we’ll be set to go. We’ve still got some (score) drop in us to get where we need to be.”

Skibinski had high hopes for her round after playing her first six holes in one-over par.

“At that point, I was expecting high 70s, low 80s,” she said. “It all went downhill from there. I wasn’t happy with what I shot, but it was a good bounceback from Friday. My iron shots were really good and my drives were good. Putting basically was my main problem. The greens were faster than usual. I just couldn’t find a good medium.”

Maddie Fleshman’s 96 paced La Porte, “way better” than her past perfomances on the course.

“Overall, I’m pretty happy,” she said. “I played well off the fairways and the tee box. I just had some putting issues, quite a few three putts. It was hard reading the greens.”

The Slicers were seventh as a team at 478. Gabby Hill shot 119, Marley Schable 127 and Ella Schable 136. Jayme Noll carded a 152.

“There’s been a huge improvement throughout the season,” coach Libbie Gilliland said. “It’s a very young crew. Our goal the first half of the season was to try to circle only half the holes (for a score of 10 or more), now they’re only circling no more than three or four. It would be easy to give up on it real fast but they’ve kept their spirits up. They don’t seem to be getting too frustrated. They seem to still be enjoying it.”

Valpo defended its title, topping Lake Central, 334-342, for team honors, with the Indians securing overall conference honors based on a better dual meet finish. The Indians’ Isabel Spanburg was the medalist with a 77.

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