Packed schedules and long road trips are part of the UNO women’s golf team’s first year in Division I.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha ended the spring season with six tournaments in four weeks.
“The season was really packed in,” said sophomore Brooke Thilges. “It was a very tough schedule. It sure kept me busy.”
The team’s youth was an additional hurdle. UNO had one senior returning, opening a chance for younger players to gain experience.
“We had younger players have career rounds and high rounds,” Thilges said. “We had a very young team and inconsistency hurt us at times.
“We struggled a little compared to the last couple years, but with the transition year, we’re trying to figure out new courses and new teams. And we never really had a day where we all had good scores on the same day.”
Thilges thinks the additional experience will help consistency next year with all but one traveling player returning.
But youth isn’t the only thing that affected the team.
“The traveling was definitely tricky,” Thilges said. “The longest we (drove) was 11 1⁄2 hours.”
The Mavericks traveled for five of their six tournaments, meaning a lot of missed classes.
“When we were in the peak of the season it was tricky keeping up with homework,” Thilges said. “For some classes I knew the assignments ahead of time, so I can get a head start on it. I did a few projects before they were assigned so I wouldn’t have to worry about them on the road.”
While traveling was tough, it provided time for the team to bond.
“The best thing was just getting to know each other better,” Thilges said. “We had a lot of fun together.
“Also, it was cool to see places that I wouldn’t have ever been to. All the places were awesome and the courses were beautiful.”
The Mavericks were able to finish their season in Omaha with the Creighton Classic at Oak Hills Country Club.
Thilges and her teammates were excited for the chance to end the season in front of a supportive hometown crowd. She said it was also important for Rebecca Pollock — the team’s only senior — to end her career at home.
After a grueling season, Thilges is ready for some downtime, but she knows that she doesn’t have long.
“This summer, practicing and playing in tournaments and events is definitely going to be important for me to get better for next year.”