Story by Sarah Combs, Assistant Sports Editor
The women’s golf team prepares for the upcoming season opener in the Drake Creek Invitational on Sept. 12-13 in Ledbetter, Kentucky.
The first tournament will introduce four new freshmen and a sophomore transfer to the Racer roster.
Head Coach Velvet Milkman expects immediate results from the newcomers. With a high-talent level, the team should avoid minor hiccups and be able to jump right into their stroke, she said.
“I expect them to come and contribute,” Milkman said. “I think they have a lot of talent, and I’m very excited about them. I know they will have their learning curves and my expectations for them is to come and contribute immediately.”
With many new faces, it’ll be more important for players to step up and show Milkman they deserve time on the course. Playing alongside current OVC Champion Moa Folke also provides inspiration for the team.
“I think it will motivate everyone,” Milkman said. “You don’t have to motivate Moa – she motivates herself. Winning certainly is motivating for the team, and the for the new players, it is fantastic because that is the level of this program, that is the expectation and to have that on your team and for the new players to watch that every day and to see what it takes to be that talented and that good is exciting.”
The new players on the team are:
Linette Holmslykke, sophomore transfer from Vejle, Denmark, transfer from the University of West Alabama.
Charli Jo Doss, freshman from Paducah, Kentucky.
Lucila Puente, freshman from Sevilla, Spain.
Earlena Sheets, freshman from Mayfield, Kentucky.
Raeysha Surendran, freshman from Selangor, Malaysia.
Milkman said she looks forward to the new talent and plans to use the team’s talent level and interchangeability to her advantage.
“They are the future. I think they are young and they are just gonna go out and play, I think, to our advantage,” Milkman said. “I think they will give us some help throughout the lineup that we need. We had the championship last year, but our team didn’t do what we needed. I’m gonna use them to our advantage to make up deeper throughout our lineup.”
Folke, junior from Tranas, Sweden, remembers her debut as a Racer, when she signed with Murray State as an international student. Folke said she had to adjust her way through her first semester, which helps her relate to the incoming international students.
“You’re kind of lost and you really don’t know what to do and things are so different,” Folke said. “We are trying to guide them in the right direction, of course.”
With the confidence, inspiration and high bar that Folke has set for the team, she still sees importance in home team, homegrown competition. Folke sees that the new faces will breed that competition and ultimately make their team’s performance better for it.
“The new girls are bringing a lot of competition and I really think we need that. I think everyone will step up,” Folke said. “It doesn’t really matter who plays in the top five this year. No matter what we will have a really good top five.”