With Contributions from Caleb Yaguer
Homecoming is often a chance for students to see those they haven’t seen in a while and take a break from classes. This will not be the case for the men’s and women’s golf teams at Waynesburg University, as they will be in preparations for the President Athletic Conference Championships set for Monday and Tuesday next week.
A goal for the women will be to finish outside last place head coach Sam Jones said.
Jones has looked at this season so far as an improvement from years past and hopes to see the team continue to grow at the PAC championship.
“We have a couple new girls and some of the older girls have improved and some new girls are improving… ” Jones said.“We still have a long way to go but we’ve been much improving than in years past and we’ve been getting better and better each tournament. I’m excited for the upcoming PACs.”
One of Waynesburg’s top golfers has been sophomore Samantha Pero who has finished third in two of the last three invitational for the Jackets. She feels that the team holding each other accountable has helped the team grow.
“People have been really consistent with committing to the team and actually making it to matches this year,” Pero said. “We can hold each other accountable.”
Ultimately, attendance won’t mean much for Pero if the team can’t make progress.
“We’re growing in numbers and we’re growing in success,” she said “[We’re] hoping to pass some teams going into fall PAC’s then hoping to keep that going into the spring.”
This will be Pero’s second PAC championship of her career after playing at the same course as a freshman. Eyes will also be on junior Deanna Nagel and freshman Allie Delaney who in two of the three invitational have finished first and second for the Jackets.
The men had one last tune up before the PAC championship at the Westminster invitational Sept. 30. They placed tenth in the invitational.
The Jackets are led by senior Alex Orlandini who has placed top two in three of the invitational this year and fourth at Westminster.
Going into next week Orlandini feels confident that the team can have a successful day, even potentially pushing the team farther than expected.
“Our goal is to shoot between 320-325,” Orlandini said. “That’s where we think we can put up good numbers and really compete at the PAC championship.”
The men’s team has been under new command in head coach Mike Cipoletti and assistant coach Dave Mariner who Orlandini believes have made an impact on the team this year with the different coaching styles but also will make a huge impact on the future.
“Coach Cipoletti is more “hands-on” statistical work, choosing the right clubs for each shot, coach mariner is technical coach (swing) more statistical approach, Jones is more mental game, encouraging when we get frustrated,” Orlandini said . “We have two freshmen in the top five, really growing every year, we have more guys coming up. I think in a couple of years, I think we will be in the top three in the PAC’s consistently”
Cipoletti believes if junior Will Purbaugh and Orlandini have a great day, along with sophomore Luke Diel finishing inside the top 10, they have a chance to get into the top three .
“The biggest difference on who I think is going to finish top three in this conference and who finishes outside it really comes down to how is your three, four, five guy finishing,” Cipoletti said. “That really will be the difference in a top 3 finish or top 5 finish.”
The PAC Championships will commence Oct, 7-8 at Avon Lakes Golf Club in Ohio.