MSU Nationals Update: Moore Leading, Tennis Bows Out

MSU Sports
MSU Sports

Midwestern State's Brenna Moore has shown a great ability to adapt at the NCAA Division II Championships, played at the par-72, 6,193-yard course at The Meadows in Allendale, Michigan.

Her ability to drive the golf ball a great distance hasn't hurt either.

Moore arrived at the midpoint of tournament play at the top of the leaderboard accounting for a two-round total of 147 (+3) after firing a second-round best 73 Thursday afternoon.

"Brenna came up here in a good state of mind and has been able to relax when her round is over," MSU coach Jeff Ray said. "She has also done a great job of making adjustments of understanding what club to hit. She hit some drives downwind that were 290-300 yards. That length has allowed her to shorten this course."

The length combined with great accuracy allowed Moore to hit 12 of 14 fairways while finding 10 greens in regulation. In all, the Burkburnett native took 26 putts while surging into the lead midway through the round.

"Today was a little bit easier than yesterday," Moore said. "I didn't have to make up for being 5-over after first few holes. I had to work at a few more holes, but the golf was a lot easier than it was yesterday."

Moore used three birdies in her opening six holes to smooth out a rough stretch late in the front nine.

She rolled in birdies on the first two par-5s of the day on the first and fourth holes then went into the red with a birdie on the par-4, 309-yard sixth hole.

That canceled out a double bogey on the third hole, a bogey on the eighth and another double on the ninth hole.

"The ninth hole was the first bad drive she had of the day," Ray said. "She drove it to the right and was trying to layup when she hit the water. After that, she played some great golf. She overpowered the golf course. She is incredible off of the tee box."

Moore maintained a clean scorecard over the back nine, logging eight pars, and dropped in her fourth birdie of the day on the par-4, 391-yard 15th hole. This came after playing the back nine at 5-over on opening day. She was the only golfer in the field of 71 to play the final nine under par Thursday afternoon.

She closed with two straight par-saving shots and maintained momentum with her play on the green.

"She made a great up and down on 17 and 18," Ray said. "Overall, she putted better today but didn't hit her irons as well today. She made a lot of momentum puts from 4-7 feet. She's really in a good place right now mentally and I think she will stay there."

Moore holds a one-stroke lead on Rollins (Fla.) freshman Madison Lellyo (148/+4) and is two strokes ahead of Tarleton State's Isabel Jimenez Perea as well as Indianapolis (Ind.) duo Chanice Young and Brooke Beegle.

Moore takes comfort in knowing two rounds remain in her collegiate career. She is only trying to make the best of it.

"This makes me relax a little more knowing that I get to be here even if it's my last tournament. I want to enjoy it," she said. "It's summer, I did well in school and just have a positive outlook on the tournament. I have the opportunity to be here and represent the school so I am happy about that regardless of the outcome."

Moore's third round begins with a 7:40 a.m. (Central) tee time Friday morning on Hole No. 1.

Mustangs Fall to SW Baptist in NCAA Quarterfinals

Midwestern State's historic run through the NCAA Division II Championships came to an end in the quarterfinal round with a narrow 5-4 loss to Southwest Baptist (Mo.) Thursday afternoon at the Surprise Racquet and Tennis Complex in Surprise, Arizona.

The Mustangs close the season with an 18-7 record, advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history.

Southwest Baptist (25-2) moves on to face top-ranked Armstrong Atlantic (Ga.), which improved to 31-0 with a 5-0 victory over Lynn (Fla.) Thursday afternoon in Surprise in the national semifinals. First serve is set for Friday at 3 p.m. (Central Time).

Midwestern drew first blood against SBU as junior Maddie Schorlemmer and sophomore Paige Boykin took an 8-0 win over Beatrix Federer and Zorana Jovanic at No. 3 doubles.

The Bearcats recovered to take a 2-1 lead into singles play by taking matching 8-5 victories at the top two doubles positions.

MSU sophomore Courtney Anderson evened the match at 2-all with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Lani Tuemmers at No. 4 singles, but Southwest Baptist delivered at the top two singles' spots to put the Mustangs on the brink.

No. 14-ranked Fanni Varga beat junior Kayla Casey 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1, while 40th-ranked Christina Zentai claimed a 6-2, 6-0 victory over senior Taylor Coffman at No. 2.

The Mustangs battled back to even the match at 4-4 producing a pair of straight-set wins at the bottom of the order.

Boykin blitzed Federer 6-0, 6-1 at the No. 5 position, while freshman Carrie Casey blanked Jovanic 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6.

Southwest Baptist notched the clincher by taking the final match on the court as Josefina Zehnder outlasted Schorlemmer 6-3, 6-3.

The Bearcats defeated Midwestern State by the same 5-4 margin in each of the last two regular season meetings in 2014 and 2015.