The Coyotes started competition on Feb. 12, as the women’s team traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, to play in the Tulane Classic. The men’s team traveled to Palm City, Florida, to play in the Advance Partners Intercollegiate.
The Coyotes men’s golf team is projected to finish seventh in the Summit League Preseason Poll. As for the women’s team, they are projected to finish in third.
For the men’s team, senior Max Schmidtke was named a Preseason Player to Watch, and for the women’s team, junior Akari Hayashi was named.
Head men’s coach John Vining and head women’s coach Brett Barnett are both very excited to see how their golfers will do during the spring season, coming off an excellent fall season.
“They really put in the work this offseason making sure to get all the fundamentals down while they couldn’t go outside and golf,” Vining said.
Bennett wants his team to continue to improve. He wants to focus his team on improving on their national ranking and achieving their own goals.
Bennett has his golfers set goals for the season, for themselves and for each meet. He makes them write it down on a board to keep track. If they do not hit their goal, he has a conversation with them about what they think they need to improve on to reach their goals.
“We are 163 right now out of 263 programs in Division I,” Bennett said. “We try to get that down by like 10 or 20 spots. So if we can get to 140 in the rankings, that would be great.”
Vining thinks his team can make it to the top three in the Summit League despite being ranked so low.
“We can make it to day three for sure if we do what we need to and continue to improve,” Vining said. “We just want to be able to compete with those top teams.”
“I think we will make it to day three, but what we do from there is what really matters,” Bennett said. “I think we can really beat the teams not only below us but also the team above us. Denver is a top 50 ranked program, so getting to them would be amazing.”
The men’s team will next travel on the road to play at the Loyola Intercollegiate in Goodyear, Arizona, on Feb. 26.
The women’s team will travel to Rio Verde, Arizona, on Feb. 24 to play in the Rio Verde Invite.