The North Suburban Conference tournament on Sept. 30 was not only an important meet for league members, it gave Mundelein junior Megan Wiese a reminder of how much she’s grown.
Wiese made the all-conference team by shooting a 97, good for 20th place at Bonnie Brook Golf Course in Waukegan. As a team, Mundelein shot 394, good for fifth place in the tournament won by Libertyville.
That performance came a year after she played in the Mustangs’ group of six golfers that won a Class AA regional. That team was dominated by seniors, leaving Wiese and senior Holly Petlak as returnees for 2014.
Wiese said that in 2013, the enormity of big tournaments would often affect her mentally.
“When I went to sectionals, I was very nervous and it got to me,” Wiese said. “It did open my eyes that I can be really good.”
Wiese’s nerves were calmed by previous experience this season, but nothing prepares a golfer more than playing practice rounds. After her experience in the 2013 state series, Wiese spent time in the spring and summer playing the three courses at Geneva National Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
“In the summer, I played almost three times a week,” Wiese said. “It helped my score to practice up there.”
This season, Weise’s consistency has her rotating with Jennifer Dimitriou for Mundelein’s No. 1 or No. 2 spot. Dimitriou, playing in her first conference tournament, struggled a bit under the tough conditions at Bonnie Brook, carding a 100.
“She was playing with the top group. Sometimes she gets frazzled,” Mustangs coach Barb Hartwig said of Dimitriou. “But she’s a very talented freshman. The best we’ve had. A natural.”
While Mundelein’s top two golfers are consistent for each meet, the rest of the lineup is fluid. Missing the steady play of 2013 seniors Courtney Fabbri, Cristina Loverde and Lorrielle Martin, Hartwig uses almost her entire roster of eight varsity players.
Seniors Keara Hurley and Isabella Loverde and juniors Grace Gotlund and Darin Chaichitatorn flip flop between the Nos. 4 through 7 spots behind Weise, Dimitriou and Petlak, who missed the conference tournament due to illness.
“Whoever gets the poorest score gets bumped and someone moves up or down,” Hartwig said. “They can never relax. They have to be on their toes or they will have a teammate to take their spot.”
No Mustang finished with a better score than Loverde at the conference tournament. Her 96 put her in 17th place, good for an all-NSC selection.
It was several strokes shy of her season-best round of 88 at the Sept. 20 Mustang Invitational.
“I knew I was capable of a low score,” Loverde said. “We were nervous at first about playing varsity but I think we’ve adjusted really well. We’ve improved a lot.”
Petlak and Dimitriou advanced to the sectional from Wednesday’s Carmel Regional, carding a 93 and 99, respectively. Mundelein finished fifth with a team score of 407 as Libertyville won with a 344. Wiese ended her season with a 112.