Hill climbs to top in first tourney

“The University of Akron’s women’s golf team is young, very young. It was only June of last year when athletic director Mack Rhoades announced that UA would be adding a women’s golf program. Since the program itself is in its infancy, the players aren’t exactly seasoned veterans.”

The University of Akron’s women’s golf team is young, very young.

It was only June of last year when athletic director Mack Rhoades announced that UA would be adding a women’s golf program.

Since the program itself is in its infancy, the players aren’t exactly seasoned veterans.

When you consider that six of the seven golfers on the roster are freshmen, it makes the team’s ninth-place tie in the Great Smokies Intercollegiate last week at Waynesville (N.C.) Country Club all the more remarkable.

Freshmen Hanna Ek and Tyler Etchberry saw their scores improve by seven and eight strokes, respectively, on the second day of the tournament. But the main stand-out of the tournament was freshman Kristin Hill.

Hill became the first Zip’s golfer in history to record an under-par round, which she did on the first day of the tournament, and led UA by carding a 146, good for an 11th place finish overall.

I was really nervous, but it was amazing, Hill’s said of her first collegiate tournament.

Hill, who is in fourth-place individually after her perfromance yesterday on the first day of the Cardinal Classic in Muncie, Ind., said that the transition from hitting the links in high school to golfing collegiately was a surprisingly easy one.

The camaraderie we have on this team made it a really easy transition, Hill said.

UA’s women’s team is not only a young squad but a very diverse one as well, with players originating from Iowa to Sweden. But Hill said it is a nonissue on the team.

We’re a very open group, she said. It hasn’t been hard on anyone.

Coach Jenny King seemed excited with her team’s performance in their first-ever tournament.

The girls handled it well, King said of the team’s first match. They played pretty steady throughout.

King said that she attributed the team’s success, especially the improvement of Etchberry and Ek, to the players themselves.

They realized they could play the course better, King said of her players. They were definitely more relaxed after getting that first round under their belt. It was nothing I did.

King acknowledged that the Zips got off to a respectable start, but hopes that the team can build on it and improve throughout the year. The Zips will compete in four more tournaments this fall, and then start to prepare for the spring season.

This is a great start for our program, she said. It should give us confidence going into our next tournament.