On April 18, the Loyola women’s golf team’s season came to an end with a seventh place finish at the Missouri Valley Conference championships in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. A week later, the men’s team finished last in its tournament, despite being the host school.
The women’s effort was led by sophomore Elayna Bowser who fired a team low 236 (79-79-78) strokes through three days to lead the Ramblers individually with a 14th place finish at the event.
Bowser was one of five Ramblers to finish in the top 50 for the event with fellow teammates junior Summer Moser and senior Logan Willis finishing tied for 20th at 239 strokes. The upperclassmen were followed by first-years Morgan Brown and Sara Padilla who finished in 34th and 42nd, respectively.
The team will have six returners when it picks up competition in the fall.
The men’s tournament did not go as planned for the Ramblers. A last place finish with no player placing higher than 35th capped off a rocky season. With last place finishes in three events during the regular season, and now the last place finish at the championship, it is possible to lose hope for the team’s growth. but , director of golf Erik Hoops said this year wasn’t about winning titles, but rather, about setting the stage for future success.
“It’s been a rebuilding year for us we’ve got some great underclassmen that have seen a lot of action and are getting valuable experience here at the top stage,” said Hoops. “It’s been a good year of building and laying the groundwork for the future and we’re really optimistic about this program going forward.”
The team’s rebuild has been led by two top first-years in Justin LaFrance and Nick Bonema. The two have been bright spots in an otherwise rough spring season for the Ramblers, as the tandem has finished at the top of the scorecard for the Ramblers in three of the team’s four regular season events. Hoops said he will rely on the duo moving forward to lead the team.
“LaFrance and Bonema have stepped up big for us and we’re really looking forward to developing them and making them top competitors over the next three years,” said Hoops.