Written by Student Assistant Kelsey Littleton
TACOMA, Wash. - This weekend the Pacific Lutheran University women's golf team will host the Northwest Conference Golf Championships at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club. The Lutes have fought hard this season, so far standing fifth out of nine teams in the NWC standings after the NWC's Fall and Spring Classics.
PLU finished fourth at the NWC Fall Classic in October and was fifth at the NWC Spring Classic on April 9, sitting fifth overall in the combined standings. The NWC regular season title utilizes each team's finish at the Fall, Spring, and NWC Championship events. The Fall and Spring Classics both count 50 percent towards each team's total with this weekend's NWC Tournament counting for the remaining 50 percent.
The Lutes experienced some adversity at the NWC Spring Classic on April 9, having to compete without their top two golfers who were delayed getting home from an academic conference. However, one player was able to step up and hold the team together in spite of the significant loss.
Senior Jeankie-Jhen Aczon finished tied for fourth out of 42 golfers, securing PLU'sfifth place finish at the event, owning a 62-stroke lead on sixth place Pacific University. Aczon finished the first day with a score of 81 and the second day with a score of 79, resulting in a total of 160. Aczon has proven throughout the season to be a consistent contributor, managing to stay in the top 15 in six of the seven tournaments she has competed in this season, including four top 10 finishes.
"Just within this last season alone, I have managed to grow more than the last three years combined," Aczon said. "Arnold Palmer once said that 'the road to success is always under construction'. I am not perfect, nor should I try to be."
This is Aczon's last year playing on the golf team. However, she will still be attending PLU as a fifth year senior in 2017-2018, completing her computer science degree.
"After graduating, I hope to still be around the area with a solid start to a career in my field of study, with hopefully a better idea as to how to mesh computer science with golf to make work fun," Aczon said.
Even though Aczon will not be playing golf for the Lutesshe will always be a PLU golfer.
"I am going to miss everything about golfing for PLU," Aczon said. "Being a golfer is how I've identified myself at PLU, it's the biggest part of me. It's because of golf that I was able to meet people that are going to be a part of my life forever."
The NWC Championships is the last time the women's golf team will play this year, unless they can advance on to the NCAA Division III Championships in Houston, Texas in May. Aczon believes that they have a chance of defeating their rivals, George Fox University and Whitman College.
"Based off the Spring Classic two weeks ago, we definitely have a chance at the title, even more so with our home course advantage," Aczon said.
Round one of championship play begins on Saturday at 8 a.m., and round two will continue at 8 a.m. the following day. Desirae Haselwood will tee off at 8:45 a.m., followed by Aczon at 8:54 a.m. Anna Jessen, Madison LaVergne, and Sami Briney, follow after with Saturday tee times of 9:03 a.m., 9:12 a.m., and 9:21 a.m., respectively.