The Valparaiso University women’s golf team has announced its schedule for the 2017-2018 season, its first year of play in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Crusaders get the campaign going on Sunday, Sept. 10 with the first of two days in the Golf Week Program Challenge in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Following that tournament, Valpo continues its fall schedule with a de facto tour of The Valley spanning three events. That starts with a visit to Loyola on Sept. 18-19 for the Loyola Invitational, which will be held in Flossmoor, Ill. The Crusaders have participated in that tournament three times in the past, but this will mark their first appearance since 2012.
Then, the team will check out the course in Newton, Kan. that will host the MVC Championship in the spring as part of the MVC Preview event on Oct. 16-17.
Valpo makes its annual appearance in the Braun Intercollegiate, hosted by instate MVC foe Evansville, on Oct. 23-24. This will mark the sixth straight season the Crusaders have competed in that event. They placed fifth of 10 teams a year ago, their best Braun finish.
The spring season tees off in Port St. Lucie, Fla. on Feb. 9-10 as Valpo again takes part in the Ball State Sunshine Invitational, its second straight appearance in that tournament. Another trip to the Sunshine State is on the docket for March 12-13, as Valpo competes in the Benbow Invitational in Jacksonville. The Crusaders have taken part in that event three times previously, most recently finishing fifth of nine in 2016.
Another opportunity to visit a Valley school will occur March 25-26 as the Crusaders head to Carbondale, Ill. for the Saluki Invitational. That will be Valpo’s first appearance in that event, which is hosted by Southern Illinois. It marks the final tournament prior to the MVC Championship, held in Newton, Kan. April 15-17.
Valpo’s roster features two freshmen and six returning players this season. The Crusaders enjoyed a successful 2016-17 campaign, compiling a 322.2 team scoring average, more than two strokes better than the previous team record, which was set in 2012-13. Katie Willenbrink is back for her senior season after finishing with a single-season scoring average of 79.70, which ranks third in program history, as a junior.