The La Verne men’s golf team battled strong through out their season challenging other tough Southern California Intercollegiate Conference teams and placing no higher than second.
All year the Leopards have done well falling to their opponents by only a few points.
This week they chose to be different by placing first in their final match, the 36 hole SCIAC championship at Via Verde.
Sophomore Jordan Talah led La Verne to their championship victory at Redlands shooting a 72 on the front nine and a 71 on the back nine giving him a second place finish overall.
Shortly behind Talah was sophomore Chris Davis, shooting a 76 on the front nine and a 71 on the back nine giving him a fifth place finish.
The Leos had four golfers finish in the top 10 of the top 20 golfers.
Overall La Verne will place second in conference with 40 points as Redlands has captured the conference title scoring 45.
The Leopards placed fourth in both SCIAC tournaments last week.
These would be the conference matches that would cost them the SCIAC title.
With both of their top shooters returning for two more years, La Verne will definitely look forward to the progress that these young players will make during the off-season.
Though the Leopards fell short this year, next year will be much different.
“We will be number one in SCIAC next year,” Davis said. The team is not worried about next year but determined instead.
“We can be as good as we want to be,” Davis said.
Head coach Rex Huigens said how upset he was to be losing senior Doug Green. “We will miss is presence and personality next year. He is the type of guy that you want on your team.”
With this win the Leopards qualified themselves to play in nationals. Though the team has done everything it can, it is still up to the National Collegiate Athletic Association to determined if it will be invited.
“I played like I should, but it was unfortunate that I lost in playoffs,” Talah said. “We took second in conference and next year should be solid and finish first.”
The team has high hopes for next year. With only losing one of their teammates this year they should triumph next season.
As for nationals, the team is determined to not just go and participate but to have an impact and come home victorious.
ULV never had a bad match and their work ethic and determination will push them into a positive performance in nationals as well as next year.
Matt Griffin can be reached at email@example.com.