INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The 2018 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference women's golf season will come to a close this weekend, as the women hit the links on Saturday and Sunday to determine the conference champion. The winner of this weekend's tournament will receive the conference's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championship held at Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas on May 14-17, 2018.
This year's HCAC tournament will be hosted by Earlham College and held at the 5,800 yard par 70 Liberty Country Club in Liberty, Indiana.
The Transylvania women's golf team enters the tournament as the defending league champions. The Pioneers won the championship by 18 strokes over second place Rose-Hulman last fall. Transylvania will look to its four All-HCAC returners from last season's lineup to lead the charge this weekend.
The reigning HCAC Most Valuable Player Meredith Moir (Louisville, Ky.) enters the tournament with an average 18-hole score of 77.1 strokes. Juniors Rachel and Rebecca Fine (Lexington, Ky.) were also All-HCAC selections last year and are averaging 80.1 strokes on the season. Also returning to the Pioneers squad is junior Lexie Lamar (Lewisport, Ky.). Lamar finished in a tie for fourth to earn All-HCAC honors last season and is averaging a two-round score of 83.3 this season.
Rose-Hulman will strive to dethrone the Pioneers from the top of the HCAC and claim its first conference title. Rose-Hulman's lineup features the reigning HCAC Freshman of the Year Caitlin Coverstone (Lebanon, Ind.). The sophomore enters the tournament with an average 18-hole score of 81.0 strokes. The Fightin' Engineers also return Lauren Conley (Pickerington, Ohio) who earned All-HCAC honors a year ago. During the fall campaign, Conley has averaged 81.9 strokes per round.
Hanover placed third at last year's women's golf championships with a 36-hole total of 655 strokes. The Panthers return two All-HCAC selections from the 2017 squad. The Panthers Maddison Cody (Brownsburg, Ind.) and Allison Goodwin (Lebanon, Ind.) placed sixth and seventh at last year's championship, separated by only one stroke. Goodwin currently averages 80.5 strokes while Cody is averaging 81.5 strokes per round this season.
Earlier this season, nine of the 10 HCAC squads played in the Earlham Fall Invitational at Liberty Country Club. Rose-Hulman and Transylvania had the lowest two-day score in the event at 640, followed by Hanover at 694, Mount St. Joseph at 701 and Manchester at 713.
The top 10 finishers after the two rounds are complete will earn All-HCAC honors. The top freshman finisher after Sunday's second round will receive the Freshman of the Year award. Action will get underway Saturday at 9 a.m. and Sunday morning at 9 a.m.