By Luke Mich
The Saint Vincent golf teams recently completed their seasons with PAC Conference Championships occurring a few weeks ago for both. Emily Kraisinger and Brandon Silvis explained how the season went.
“The training started when we returned to school in the fall. We had conditioning for two weeks then we started playing again until the fall season got cancelled,” Kraisinger, a junior mathematics and engineering major, said.
Originally, the plan was to have golf occur in the fall, along with other low-contact sports such as track & field and tennis, but the PAC ultimately decided to move all sports to the spring.
“We began resuming practice as soon as the weather allowed for spring play, [which was] beginning to middle of March,” Silvis, a senior biochemistry major, said. “We have a formal practice once a week on Fridays.”
According to Head Coach Samm Firestone, all practices took place at Latrobe Country Club. She said that practices this year changed very little for golf, despite the pandemic.
“In terms of structure, practices have been the same. There have been a few additional COVID screening protocols that the team members have had to follow,” Firestone noted.
“There were not too many differences as it is easy to social distance on a golf course,” Kraisinger added.
Both the men’s and women’s teams started their regular season on March 27, with the men travelling to Thiel and the women to Westminster. Even with both teams concluding their seasons just four weeks later, Firestone said that the teams competed in about the same number of events as in prior seasons.
“The only restriction we had was to only compete with schools within our conference,” she stated.
The men’s team competed in seven events, including conference championships. The women’s team competed in six events.
For conference championships, scoring occurred differently this year.
“Typically, there are 54 holes, but this year an adjustment was made and scoring was determined by 36 holes, cumulative score,” Firestone explained. “Top 4 scores for each course are counted towards the team totals.”
For each team, PAC Championships took place on two non-successive days at two separate golf courses.
The teams also experienced a significant change in their mode of transportation to events.
“We used to be able to get an 8-passenger van for the team to take to events, but [now] we have been taking large coach busses, larger than we would ever need for 6-12 individuals,” Silvis explained.
As with other SVC sports teams, the golf teams regularly got tested on the days of their events before they departed to ensure health and safety for all the athletes.
Reflecting on the season as a whole, Silvis was happy for the opportunity to compete this year and represent the school.
“We gave it our all, everyone had a great time, and we were happy to be representing Saint Vincent College,” Silvis concluded.
Both the men’s and women’s teams finished in fifth place at PAC Championships.