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Women’s golf, women’s tennis hit off spring sports

April 18, 2014

Softball, along with track and field, receive the main portion of the billing as the primary spring sports at UW-River Falls.

However, they are not the only varsity spring sports that take place on campus in the spring.

Both women’s tennis and women’s golf play a spring season in addition to their fall seasons. Tennis Head Coach Michele Bailey said that the team is fortunate to be able to play two seasons.

“It’s our non-traditional season, and there are a few other sports that get them,” Bailey said.

The tennis team has five matches in the spring over a period of about a month. It wrapped up its spring season this week with matches at St. Catherine University (Minn.) on Wednesday and at UW-Eau Claire on Friday.

While the season is only five matches long, Bailey said that it is very beneficial to the team.

“From my perspective, it’s a way for the team to stay motivated and have a bit more structured practice time,” Bailey said. “It’s an opportunity to get more experience especially since we are such a young team. I thought it was important to get a handful of matches in so we didn’t go nine months without playing.”

Additionally, Bailey said that one of her goals is to almost double the length of the spring season, and have a chance to play in the national tournament at some point down the line.

“It’s one of those rare sports that gets two seasons, and I think it’s important to take advantage of it. I feel like the program is so young and we need to grow so we can be more competitive for the fall, and the spring is a great place to start,” Bailey said. “I’d love to see at least 10 matches in.”

The top two teams in the WIAC are eligible for the national tournament in the spring season.

“There is a spring competition and you have to qualify, the top two teams in the WIAC get to move on. Obviously that would be a huge goal in the future, and an extra motivator to get into those top two spots.”

As the tennis season comes to a close, the spring golf season will begin to heat up. The women’s golf team opened up its spring season on Friday, and will continue it on Saturday as a part of the Royal Match at Bethel University.

The spring golf season is considered the “non-traditional” season, according to Head Coach Matt Cranston.

“Spring is about a third or fourth of the fall,” Cranston said.

The national tournament for golf takes places in the spring, but qualifying for the tournament is at the end of the fall. However, individual golfers can still use to the spring to lower their score and qualify. It also provides teams that qualify the chance to continue to play before the tournament.

The golf team has two tournaments slated for the spring: the Royal Match, April 18 and 19, and the Blugold Spring Invitational, May 3 and 4.