Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – All in all, not a bad start for the Central Michigan golf team.
In fact, it was the best start to a spring season since the program’s resurrection in 2014-15.
Kristen Wolfe, Natalie Johnson and Jami Laude each won their matches on Tuesday as the Chippewas closed the season-opening Mid-American Conference Match Play Challenge with a 3-2 victory over Eastern Michigan at Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club.
The Chippewas finished 2-1 in the event. They return to action Feb. 23-25 at the Rio Verde Collegiate Invitational in Rio Verde, Ariz.
“Two out of three is pretty good,” said CMU coach Cheryl Stacy, whose team opened on Monday with a loss to Bowling Green, followed by a victory over Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne. “We were a little upset losing to Bowling Green because it did knock us out of (the chance) to play four rounds.
“I was really pleased with the consistency of play. We started a little slow, but finished pretty strong as a team.”
The 2-1 record was the best mark the Chippewas have posted in their four years at the Match Play Challenge. CMU had won just once in nine matches in its previous three trips to the event, which comprises primarily MAC schools.
Last season, CMU went 0-3 at Lakewood Ranch; two years ago, it finished 1-2.
“We’re just a better team. You could see it,” Stacy said. “We’re competitive with MAC teams, and we’re starting to beat some teams. There is room for improvement too. It’s exciting and encouraging.”
Johnson, a senior, completed a perfect 3-0 tournament with a 3-and-2 victory over Preaw Sripatrprasite; Laude downed Thelma Beck, 4-and-2; and Wolfe posted a dominant 7-and-6 win over Julia Stevenson.
CMU’s Danielle Sawyer dropped a 3-and-2 decision to Maria Connelly, and the Chippewas’ Bria Colosky fell, 5-and-3, to Penelope Guilleux.