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Braves look to the future, close fall season with seventh-place finish

Sarah Nacos eyes a shot. Photo courtesy of Josh Schwam/Bradley Athletics

The Bradley women’s golf team closed out its busiest fall season in four years with a seventh-place finish at the Little Rock Classic in Arkansas from Oct. 24-26. 

After a two-week break, Bradley’s women’s golf got back into action against fellow MVC rivals Illinois State and Missouri State, who finished just above the Braves in fifth and sixth place, respectively. 

The Braves finished the three-round tournament with a score of 900, tied for the ninth-lowest 54-hole score in program history. 

“We definitely showed nowhere near our peak of where we could be as a team,” head coach Halley Morrell said. “My first year here, the schedule in the fall was very hectic … even though it looks like it was one of the busier falls, the spacing was really nice throughout.” 

Freshman Maria Perakis earned her second top-10 finish of the season, finishing in a four-way tie for 10th with a three-over-par 219. The score matched the lowest 54-score by a Bradley freshman since 2016. 

“I definitely learned a lot this fall season as a freshman,” Perakis said. “Everyone individually on the team [was] able to put together some good rounds.” 

Senior Megan Welch had a great tournament, as she matched her low round of the season and career with a 72 in the final round. Thanks to matching 74’s in the first two rounds, Welch carded the lowest 54-hole tournament of her Bradley career with a four-over-par 220 to tie for 15th. 

“This offseason we will take some time to decompress and catch up on sleep and catch up on school work and then start moving toward the spring,” Welch said. “It’s hard to have a golf round where you don’t have a mistake. What makes a good golfer and a good round is the way you bounce back from those mistakes.” 

Junior Mara Flaherty made the biggest jump of the tournament as she moved up 12 spots on the leaderboard during the last day of the tournament. Her final round 73 moved Flaherty from 53rd to 41st and gave her a final score of 231. 

Sophomore Vaijayanti Bharkhada tied for 54th at 237 and freshman Kathryn McNease tied for 57th overall at 239. 

This season was full of learning for the Braves golf team and the team is looking forward to the spring.

“The sky’s the limit for these girls,” Morrell said. “[We are] taking everything we have learned this fall and working on weaknesses in the offseason and then just pedal to the metal as soon as we get started again in the spring.”

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