Men's preview: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Men's preview: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

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Men's preview: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

When you think of conference dominance in college golf, you probably look at Oklahoma State in the Big 12 or Georgia Tech in the ACC. However, there is a school in the Northeast that deserves some attention for its dominance in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

This year, the Loyola Greyhounds will be going for their fifth consecutive conference title when the MAAC Championship is held in May at Disney’s Magnolia course near Orlando.

Second-year coach Chris Baloga knows teams will be targeting his squad and that the tournament will be tough.

“When conference championships get under way, rankings don’t mean anything,” Baloga said. “Our school is like anyone else’s in the conference in that we all take pride trying to win MAAC titles.”

Last year, when Loyola won its fourth straight title, senior Alex Redfearn was the first player to win a conference title each year as a member of the starting lineup. This year, senior Ryan McCarthy (older brother of Virginia freshman Denny McCarthy) will try to be the next Greyhound to play for four straight MAAC-champion teams.

“I think to be a part of a four-peat like that, as a player that has to be really cool,” Baloga said. “I know as the coach of this team that when May comes around on the calendar, the guys get really excited.”

This year, Loyola should once again be a heavy favorite to win the MAAC. The Greyhounds have three experienced seniors who Baloga says know what they are doing. Loyola also has freshman Bart George, who has played in all of the team’s tournaments so far this season.

To close out the fall, Loyola traveled south to play at the Mission Inn Fall Intercollegiate, in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. The Greyhounds placed second, nine shots behind tournament champion Florida Gulf Coast.

Baloga and his team will have one more opportunity to play golf in the Sunshine State before they return in May for the MAAC Championship. In mid-March, the team will play in Orlando at UCF’s Rio Pinar Invitational.

“This year, I think the guys will be really prepared to make a run at the MAAC,” Baloga said. “Our schedule was set up to play down South and out West often for challenging courses and fields.”

The Oklahoma State Cowboys will have plenty of eyes on them when they go for a sixth straight Big 12 title, but some eyes should be on Loyola, as well. The Greyhounds are going for a fifth consecutive conference title, and that’s a feat worthy of national recognition.

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Top team from the fall: Loyola Unv.

Top player from the fall: Ryan McCarthy, Loyola

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Past champions

2007: Siena

2008: Loyola Univ.

2009: Loyola Univ.

2010: Loyola Univ.

2011: Loyola Univ.

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Conference capsules

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Complete coverage

Wondering how your favorite conference is shaping up headed into the spring season? Who is our favorite to pick up the automatic qualifier? Check out our conference-by-conference break down with our complete coverage page here.

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