The Gannon University women’s golf team got its season off to a hot start over the weekend with a pair of finishes inside the top two, including a victory in its first event of the year.
The Knights started the season with a victory at the Evann Parker Memorial, hosted by Mercyhurst University at Lake View Country Club in nearby North East.
Gannon had three golfers among the top five finishers.
These finishers were Rebecca Red Horse, Maria Arenas and Alyssa Drehs, who shot 36-hole totals of 160, 161 and 162, respectively, to finish second, third and fifth in the two-day tournament, which concluded Saturday.
Arenas fired a first-round 75, which helped the Knights build a commanding lead after round one.
Gannon shot 322 in the first round, enough to take an eight-shot lead over Malone University.
The Knights did not necessarily have their best stuff in the final round, shooting 334, but it was enough to hold off the field and come away with a nine-shot victory.
Gannon then completed the back half of a tough four-day schedule by hosting the Michael Corbett Fall Classic Sunday and Monday at Lake Shore Country Club.
The Knights finished second to Ashland University by just one shot in another hard-fought two days.
An impressive 316 from Ashland on day one proved to be a bit too much for the Knights to overcome. They shot 652 over the two days and just missed back-to-back victories.
Gannon still had quite a few solid performances, however. Samantha Gaffney, Arenas and Red Horse all produced top-10 finishes, shooting 159, 162 and 163, respectively, to place seventh, eighth, and tied for ninth.
A sense of comfort and preparation seemed to be enough to help Gaffney come back from a bit of a rocky start to the season.
“I felt more comfortable at Lake Shore since it is our home course,” Gaffney said. “There were a few aspects of my game that were not very sharp at Lake View, but after going over my rounds and thinking out some things, I felt much more prepared going into the rounds at Lake Shore.”
Arenas came out strong in the first two events of her young career.
She teamed with Gaffney, Red Horse, Drehs and Carley Sawyer to round out the starting five for Gannon in its first two events.
Sawyer and Gaffney are the two seniors in the lineup and they will be looked at to lead the Knights as they continue into the fall season.
Gannon will return to action Sunday at the Glade Springs Intercollegiate, a two-day event held in Daniels, W. Va., and hosted by the University of Charleston.
Gannon’s men’s team also will compete at the invitational. The Knights opened their fall schedule with a fifth-place finish among 12 teams at the Guy and Jeanne Kuhn Memorial Invitational.