By Amanda Allie

Women's golf did not swing and miss this year. In fact, they did so well that they swept the Wolvernine-Hoosier Athletic Conference title, earning them a trip to attend NAIA Nationals and represent Madonna University in Greenville, Tenn.

The ladies will depart May 15 to Links Hills Country Club and return May 18. Head Coach Scott Marzolino is very excited. According to Marzolino, this is not the first time the team qualified.

"The team qualified for the National Tournament in May 2010, and this year May 2012.  In May 2011, Michelle Hall qualified for the National Tournament as an individual since she was the Medalist for the WHAC conference that year."

That makes Hall, a junior Business Administration major, a two-time winner of the WHAC Individual Championship.

In order to make their way to Nationals, the girls had to beat out seven other teams including Aquinas, which trailed closely in conferences, as well as Davenport, Indiana Tech, Siena Heights, University of Northwestern Ohio, Lourdes University, and Cornerstone. Conferences were played at Whispering Willows Golf Course in Livonia.

Hall was not the only member of the team to win a title the second year in a row; Marzolino was named the WHAC's Coach of the Year for the second time after the girls swept conferences.

One thing is for sure: Hall could not have made it to Nationals by herself. The Crusaders strong pack of women's golfers also include: Junior Megan Fleischer, Sophomore Kaitlyn Brasher, and Freshmen Chelsea Collura and Becca Porter.

Next year, the team will keep its current roster and bring Jordyn Shepler and Holly Laginess to the squad, both of whom were recognized with All-State honors Fall 2011.

"Golf takes physical toughness and mental focus to be successful... you have to be a competitor.  This team started in the gym in the early mornings of August getting prepared for a season that spans over 9 months. They started off on a very high note winning our event at Treetops and setting a team scoring record. They continued with the momentum to win the WHAC regular season and then capped off the season with a victory at the conference playoff. I am very proud of what these girls have accomplished this season and look forward to competing at a high level at the National Tournament," Marzolino emphasized.

Just when women's golf its celebration, Madonna's men's golf team earned their second trip to NAIA Nationals shortly after. The win was led by Individual Medalist Vince Carango, a senior majoring in English/Journalism.

This is the men's second time to Nationals in a three-year span. Head Coach Steve Mato was named the WHAC's Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.

The pack of Crusaders, will head to Salem, Ore., May 22.

"I'm proud of the way the guys came out the last two days and battled the elements to win the championship," said Mato after the event. "We were not happy with the way the fall ended and wanted to come out and play our game at this event and did that. Now we have a little time to work on some things before heading to the national tournament."



Gold teams earn national bids