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2013-05-24 Tiger use first NAIA Nationals as learning experience
2013-05-24 Tiger use first NAIA Nationals as learning experience

Tigers use first NAIA Nationals as learning experience; eager to return

Author: Wendy Reid
Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 at 10:30 AM
2013-05-24 Tiger use first NAIA Nationals as learning experience(2) 2013-05-24 Tiger use first NAIA Nationals as learning experience(3)

Ashley Miller

2013-05-24 Tiger use first NAIA Nationals as learning experience(4)

Gwen Holmes

2013-05-24 Tiger use first NAIA Nationals as learning experience(5)

Kelsey Fisk

2013-05-24 Tiger use first NAIA Nationals as learning experience(6)

Lydia Bilyeu

2013-05-24 Tiger use first NAIA Nationals as learning experience(7)

Nora Durkin

2013-05-24 Tiger use first NAIA Nationals as learning experience(8)

Gwen Holmes: NAIA Champions of Character

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Olivet Nazarene University women’s golf season came to an end at the NAIA National Golf Championships on Thursday, May 23, after day three of competition. The Tigers made their first program appearance at the national level after just three years in existence. Despite the nerves, Olivet improved daily and finally finished 25th of the 27 teams who qualified.

"Nationals has been an incredible experience. We are so honored to be here with some of the best women in the nation,” said senior captain Gwen Holmes. “As a senior, I hope that my younger teammates will continue to gain more success each year they play and be back at this tournament next year. As for this season, we'll conclude with many firsts, and many great memories."

Olivet was led by junior Ashley Miller (Springhill, Kan.) who finished the three rounds tied for 99th place of the 144 competitors. Miller was a pillar of consistency, shooting rounds of 86, 86, 87, 86, 87, 81.

"Nationals was such a wonderful experience,” added Miller. “I learned a lot and our team has taken away many great memories from this experience. We will continue working hard over the summer in hopes to continue our success for next season."

The overall leader after three rounds of play is Jessica Schiele of Oklahoma City University. OCU also leads in the team standings, shooting rounds of 310, 305, 305 entering the final round. Ten strokes back is British Columbia , while Lubbock Christian University (Texas) is just a shot behind that.

Freshman Kelsey Fisk (Greenfield, Ind.) finished the three-day event in 119th place (91, 91, 86, 91, 86, 85), while sophomore Lydia Bilyeu (Fulton, Ill.) finished in 125th place (93, 93, 85, 93, 85, 90). Seniors Nora Durkin (Peotone, Ill.) and Gwen Holmes (Princeton, Ind.) finished in 130th and 143rd place respectively.

"I couldn't have asked for a better end to my freshman year. We have all learned so much about the game and each other on our journey to Nationals,” said Fisk of the experience. “ I have truly been blessed by my coaches and teammates, and I am excited to see what the next three years holds. Hopefully this will not be my last visit to the National tournament."

The Tigers will rest and relax for the summer and return to action in early in the fall of 2013. Losing just two seniors from the roster makes for a bright future.