Despite losing back-to-back MIAC individual medalist and three time All-American performer Katie Schenfeld due to graduation, Head Coach Scott Moe’s women’s golf team will feature a veteran group of four returners that includes Taylor Drenttel (Eagan, Minn.), Kayleigh Dittes (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Ann Jackson (Fargo, N.D.), and Rikka Holiday (Bozeman, Mont.). The 2010-11 Gusties won the MIAC Championship for the third straight year, while finishing runner-up at the NCAA Championships for the second time. Heading into the fall season, Coach Moe feels confident in his returners and their ability to battle for a fourth straight conference crown.
“I am excited for the year,” Moe stated. “We have some talented players returning, four from last year’s NCAA team, but we have a big void to fill in losing Katie Schenfeld. I look to Taylor Drenttel, Annie Jackson, Rikka Holiday and Kayleigh Dittes seeing plenty of playing time and also look to freshmen Liz Strom and Sam Falk to get into the lineup as well.”
Gustavus enters its 2011-12 campaign ranked No. 3 in the Golf World/National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) Division III College Women’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll after receiving 492 points. Methodist University (Fayetteville, N.C.) received 575 points for the No. 1 ranking and DePauw University (Greencastle, Ind.) garnered 523 points, ranking No. 2.
Three-time All-MIAC performer and 2010 All-American Taylor Drenttel will step into the No. 1 spot for her senior season. Drenttel finished runner-up to Schenfeld the past two seasons at the conference meet, shooting a 240 in 2009 and a 239 in 2010. The Eagan, Minn. native recorded five top-10 finishes last season while averaging an 82.2 (+10) per round.
Fellow seniors Ann Jackson and Rikka Holiday, and junior Kayleigh Dittes will round out the No. 2 through No. 4 spots on the squad. Jackson notched three top-10 finishes last season and shot a season average of 83.8 (+12), the third lowest on the team. Rikka Holiday, who averaged an 85.5 (+13) last year, saved her best tournament for the NCAA Championships last season, shooting a 242 to take sixth place while earning All-America Honorable Mention honors. Kayleigh Dittes finished last season with an 84.4 (+12) average, placing ninth at the MIAC Championship and earning All-Conference honors for the first time in her career.
The Gustie women begin their fall campaign on September 3 at the Eau Claire Invitational in Eau Claire, Wis.
“We have a great fall schedule,” Moe said. “Starting at Eau Claire our first week and then to Indiana for the O’Brien Invitational, which is the top ten teams in the country. We finish the season with the MIAC Championships. I think it will be a great contest this year, our conference has really added some talent, so it will be fun to watch. I look for us to have a strong year, but we need our returners to be more consistent and post some lower individual scores than last year.”