HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's golf team will enter the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14, looking to continue its recent success at the league meet and earn an automatic bid into the spring's NCAA Division III National Championship.
LINEUP: Hanover will need rely on a pair of experienced golfers to lead the way this weekend in junior Maddie Cody (Brownsburg, Ind.) and senior Sam Pease (Cincinnati, Ohio). Cody, a two-time all-HCAC selection has the best individual scoring average of the Panthers' weekend lineup, which is a career-best 81.50. The junior also placed second at the conference preview event a few weeks ago, highlighted by her season-best round of 76.
Pease has been one of HC's most consistent golfers over the past four years, as she has an 83.88 season scoring average. The senior is in good form this fall, placing in the top third of each tournament field, including a top-10 finish at the Wittenberg (Ohio) Pat Clouse Invitational last weekend.
Making their HCAC Championship debuts this weekend are sophomore Dayna Dale (Andrews, Ind.), and freshmen Kennedy Easton (Borden, Ind.) and Hannah Julow (Evansville, Ind.). Dale is one of four Panther golfers with a sub-90 scoring average this fall, 89.13, while Easton and Julow, in limited action, have marks of 93.17 and 98.50, respectively.
THE FIELD: All 10 conference institutions will be in attendance this week, with nine competing for the team title and Anderson also being represented with three individuals. Highlighting the field are Hanover, Rose-Hulman and Transylvania, who will be paired together during Saturday's opening round. Transylvania, the defending champions, are nationally-ranked in the most recent Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) poll, while the Fightin' Engineers were receiving votes. All three institutions have also combined for the top 10 golfers, in terms of scoring average, in the HCAC this fall.
THE COURSE: Nine of the 10 teams will be getting their second look at Liberty Country Club, in Liberty, Ind., with Franklin being the lone conference school to not participate in the preview event back on Sept. 29 and 30. During the preview event, the individual scoring average was 94.82 strokes per round. The par-70 course, which was built in 1927, will play long this weekend at 5,800 yards. Tee times for both days are set to begin at 9 a.m. on the first hole.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY: The Panthers will be in search of their sixth HCAC championship in the past nine years, which includes a stretch of four consecutive titles from 2013 to 2016. Hanover is coming off a third place finish last fall, as they were one of three schools to break the tournament team scoring record. The Blue and Red shot a team total of 655 (320-355), while Transy (624) and Rose-Hulmam (642) earned the top two spots in the standings.
Individually, Cody has picked up all-conference accolades in each of her first two attempts, placing among the top eight in the standings her freshman and sophomore seasons. The junior finished sixth last year with a two-day score of 158 (77-81).
Pease has also posted top 15 finishes each of the last two conference championships, including an 11th place mark in 2017 and 9th place mark in 2016. Last season, Pease went 80-85 for a tournament score of 165.
UP NEXT: Hanover will have finished its fall slate at the conclusion of the conference championship on Sunday. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for an update on the spring schedule.
Contact: Tyler Jester