Ball State women’s golf turns to young talent in spring opener

<p>Manon Tounalom tees off at hole 8 during the Cardinal Classic Sept. 19 at the Players Club. <strong>Kaiti Sullivan, DN File</strong></p>

Manon Tounalom tees off at hole 8 during the Cardinal Classic Sept. 19 at the Players Club. Kaiti Sullivan, DN File

Ball State women’s golf will move its play to green grass and sunny skies Friday. 

The Cardinals will host their first event of the spring season at the PGA Village in Florida when they host the Ball State Sunshine Invitational at Port St. Lucie on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10. 

“We will be in 80 degree weather every day and it serves as a reward for the hard work we have put in.” head coach Katherine Mowat said.

Coming off a stellar fall season, sophomore Manon Tounalom looks to come back with momentum and skill on the course. Tounalom posted three top-30 finishes, one being top 10 in the five tournaments of the 2017 fall season. The 2016-17 Freshman of the Year held the team together by consistently putting up low scores and being a leader on and off the course. 

“[Tounalom] is more motivated than ever because she really saw what she is capable of in the fall,” Mowat said. “She is very excited to get this season underway and, as a coach, I am excited to see what she will bring.”

Another key performer to look out for during the spring schedule is senior Morgan Nadaline, who put up a top 15 finish in the fall. This season, she looks to make her experience known to her younger teammates. Junior Sydney Anderson joins Nadaline as the only other upperclassmen as a leading figure for the Cardinals. 

“We count on those who have had previous experience to lead and guide and to set good examples,” Mowat said. 

In order for the Cardinals to make an outstanding presence in Florida, the freshmen need to step up and grind out some low scores. Freshmen Holly Anderson, Liz Kim, Emily Knouff and Reece Malapit all look to improve on the fall season and grow as competitors. 

The freshman class is still adjusting to the balance that comes along with being a student-athlete. However, the class has one goal in mind and Tounalom has faith in the team’s underclassmen.

“I think it was tough for the freshmen to combine golf and college at the same time at first, but now I think they are past it,” Tounalom said. “They are all working hard, so I am not worried about anything.”

The Cardinals will tee off against national competitors in Port St. Lucie, Florida on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 as they look to grab a top spot in the Ball State Sunshine Invitational. 

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