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Women’s Golf Prepares for Championships

 The South Dakota women’s golf team approaches the Summit League Championships on April 21-23 in Mayetta, Kansas.

    Sophomore Catie Nekola and the rest of the team are prepared to take on an entirely new course as they carry some momentum into the meet.

   “[We’re taking] our momentum into the Championships,” Nekola said. “[We have] never played this course before so kind of studying it a lot during our practice round.”

   Head Coach Brett Bennett always makes sure that his team focuses on planning ahead by studying each of the courses they will be swinging on.

    “The biggest thing is just doing their homework,” Bennett said.

    Nekola did her homework earlier this year when she broke the record for a single-day score with a 67 on day three of the Rio Verde Invite, but she is challenging herself and her teammates to do better.

    “It means a lot. Me and Ella (Greenberg) both agree that we can break that record by our senior years, so that’s the goal: to keep breaking it but it’s really cool, no words,” Nekola said.

    Bennett knew that Nekola had the ability to break records when he recruited her.

    “When I recruited her, I felt like she was gonna be one of the best players to come through USD,” Bennett said.

     Bennett has been training a very young team with three sophomores and four freshmen this season, but like Nekola, Bennett knows they have talent. He has kept his expectations in check this season but looks forward to the future.

   “It’s been a learning experience, we kind of started the year with not much expectations of them,” Bennett said.

      He knows that with the young team, all the athletes have learned a lot. Nekola knows that she has learned a lot, too.

     “I think it’s been big for me to focus on the good rounds that I’ve had and learn from those as well as the rounds of struggled on,” Nekola said.

     What Nekola and Bennett both agree on is having a good focus and mentality on the course.

    South Dakota will be swing at the Firekeeper Golf Course as they hope to take their first women’s golf Summit League title.