- Win is Northview's 2nd in five early season tourneys -
TERRE HAUTE -- While most high school golf teams are just getting into swing for the Fall season, the Northview Knights are already 90 holes deep into what looks to be an exciting season.
On Tuesday afternoon the Knights won their second 18-hole tournament of the young season with a victory in the Terre Haute South Invitational at Rae Park Golf Course.
Northview, who carded a 357, downed Vigo County rivals Terre Haute South (371-2nd), Terre Haute North (378-3rd) and West Vigo (496-5th) as well as Cloverdale (427-4th).
"We have some good senior leadership in Kelsey Smith and Amy Thiemann and Brittany (Cheek) already has two varsity seasons under her belt as a junior," commented coach Teresa Akers on her squad.
Thiemann showed Tuesday why she is one of the best golfers the area has to offer after carding a 79, good for second in the tournament. South's Kelli Holloway garnered medalist honors with her 78, Thiemann defeated South's Diana Price in a one-hole playoff for second overall.
"I played really bad on the front nine," commented Thiemann afterwards. "But I really felt good about the back and I nearly had a hole-in-one."
Thiemann, for one, feels that the number of early season tournaments will help the entire team over the long haul. "I think these tournaments provide good experience for the younger girls. They all get 18 holes in and see what tournaments are really like."
Cheek placed second on the Northview squad with her round of 84, good for fourth in the tournament. "I think these tournaments are going to help keep our tourney scores lower," noted Cheek after her round. "We've already done a good job of lowering our scores this season."
The Knights have done just that.
In their five tournaments this year, Northview has brought their score down from an opening 380 in a second place finish at the Brebeuf Invitational to a 358 in a victory at the Edgewood Invitational. Also included was a score of 366 at the Valparaiso Invitational featuring many of the state's top teams, a 350 in a second place finish at the Mooresville Invite and Tuesday's 357.
"I see improvement in a week's time and I expect even more improvement by September 20 when state tournament play starts," commented Akers. "At this time of the season, I'm pleased with our play, but we have a lot of room to get better."
That is certainly scary news for competitors as the Knights have reloaded after the graduation of Brittney Halcomb and Jennifer Dragan who were members of Northview's state finals team that took eighth overall.
With the return of Thiemann (16th individually in the state last year) along with Cheek and Smith who were members of the state team, the Knights have added freshman Madison Kirchner who has already shown great promise with a round of 85 at the Edgewood Invite and several other rounds in the 90's. She, along with sister Maggie Kirchner, who has varsity experience, help provide the depth that make the Knights most dangerous.
"If these two sisters play anything close to their older sister, Mallory, then our team is going to get better. Mallory steadily improved over her career finally helping us to a strong finish in last year's state finals," remarked Akers.
But pushing the Kirchner's are the returning Amber Trusler, who shot a 97 in the South Invite, and Jenae Huffman as well as freshman Millie Akers.
"It's nice to see strong competition between six girls for the third and fourth spots. It will only make us better as a team as the season progresses."
The Knights return home for their first home match of the season on Thursday, facing visiting Cloverdale at Forest Park Golf Course beginning at 1 p.m.
Terre Haute South Invitational
At Rae Park Golf Course
Team Scores: 1. Northview 357, 2. Terre Haute South 371, 3. Terre Haute North 378, 4. Cloverdale 427, 5. West Vigo 496
Top-10 Individuals: 1. Kelli Holloway (THS) 78, 2. Amy Thiemann (NV) 79*, 3. Diana Price (THS) 79, 4. Brittany Cheek (NV) 84, 5. Ann Chi (THS) 87, 6. Sarah Bowers (THN) 88, 7. Kristin Dodson (THN) 88, 8. Toi Thompson (CL) 96, 9. Kelsey Smith (NV) 97, 10. Amber Trusler (NV) 97.
* -- Won one hole playoff
Northview (357): Amy Thiemann 79, Brittany Cheek 84, Kelsey Smith 97, Amber Trusler 97, Madison Kirchner 98.
T.H. South (371): Kelli Holloway 78, Diana Price 79, Ann Chi 87, Lindsay Chapman 127, Savannah Englebert 138.
T.H. North (378): Sarah Bowers 88, Kristin Dodson 88, Haley Merrill 106, Ashley Miller 98, Mandi Roman 104.
Cloverdale (427): Toi Thompson 96, Stacy Query 98, Allysia Schwartz 112, Rebeka Herskedal 121, Courtney Williams 128.
West Vigo (496): Mika Hunt 108, Courtney Bibertine 133, Whitney Kos 126, Stephanie Voll 129.