ANGOLA, Ind. -- Trine's women's golf team opens the season Friday with its annual Kick-Off Classic on the home links of Zollner Golf Course.
The season-opening round will be one of four non-conference tournaments the Thunder will play before opening the MIAA season. Trine won the Kick-Off Classic to begin last season on a high note. The team will also host the Trine University Fall Classic Wednesday, Sep. 14 at Zollner Golf Course. Non-conference tournaments also include Carthage College's Shootout on the Border and Olivet College's Kyle Campbell Invitational.
The Thunder will enter MIAA Jamboree play Sep. 19 looking to earn a fourth-straight top-four finish in the conference. Trine has finished fourth each of the past three seasons to earn a trip to the MIAA National Qualifier in the spring. The winner of the four-team spring tournament earns an automatic-qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships.
The MIAA season consists of four Jamboree rounds, followed by a two-round championship event. Jamboree rounds will be hosted by Albion, Saint Mary's, Hope and Alma. The MIAA Championship concludes the fall season Oct. 7-8 at Bedford Valley Golf Course in Battle Creek, Mich.
Julia DeBelly (Sylvania, Ohio / Northview) returns as a three-time All-MIAA performer for the Thunder. With a strong fall, DeBelly could become the first Trine golfer to earn All-MIAA honors four times in her career.
Joining DeBelly as key returners are seniors Jaime Frost (St. John, Ind. / Hanover Central) and Ryleigh Gordon (Okemos, Mich. / Okemos). Each golfer averaged career-best scores last year. Other key returners include sophomore Claire Barnett (North Manchester, Ind. / Manchester) and junior Brooke Johnson (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge).
Four returners and eight newcomers will also compete to make an impact on the links.
The Trine University Kick-Off Classic tees off tomorrow at 2 p.m.