Women's preview: Ohio Valley Conference

Women's preview: Ohio Valley Conference

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Women's preview: Ohio Valley Conference

Morehead State notched a pair of groundbreaking achievements last season, winning its first Ohio Valley Conference women’s golf championship and qualifying for an NCAA Regional for the first time since the program’s inception in 2008.

Now in their fourth season, the Eagles and head coach Stephanie Barker are determined to build off that success.

“The neat thing about our program is that we started our pretty solid,” Barker said. “We want to be in contention for every conference tournament and we’ve proved we could do that. Now we’re starting to graduate the girls that started this program and it’s really important to make sure that the people coming in are continuing the legacy that the first players started.

“And I think we’ve brought in the right people to do that.”

The Eagles’ roster is a veteran-heavy group that includes three seniors and junior Marisa Kamelgran, who led the team in stroke average (74.6) and top 5s (two) during the fall.

Two seniors – Emma Jonsson and Karolina Tunstiq – have been a part of three top 5 conference finishes at Morehead State.

And with its own golf course (Eagle Trace GC), a strong lineup of degree programs and decent weather, there’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue.

“Since Day 1, we’ve all been on the same page,” Barker said. “I get great support, there’s a lot of interest and it really does help having great facilities. If we continue to do things right, we’re always going to be right there, but so is everybody else.”

While Morehead State is the defending conference champion, Murray State turned in a strong fall campaign, winning two tournaments and adding another runner-up finish. Its 8-over 584 performance at the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate was particularly strong.

The Eagles failed to win a fall tournament, but did open the season with a tri-match victory at Eastern Kentucky and closed the fall with a top 5 finish at the Edwin Watts/Palmetto Intercollegiate.

But with a winter of warm weather, Barker is confident her team can keep improving.

“Usually going into the spring I’m nervous because you just don’t know how much you’re going to get outside, so those first couple tournaments you’re knocking off the rust,” Barker said. “But this winter, we’ve gotten outside almost every day.

“We’re always trying to figure out how we can be that much better. If we get everyone going at the same time, it could be really exciting.”

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Top of the class: Murray State

Best player this fall: Marisa Kamelgarn, Morehead State

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Past champions

2007: Jacksonville State

2008: Jacksonville State

2009: Murray State

2010: Murray State

2011: Morehead State

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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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