Abby Cavaiani squats down to line up a shot

Sophomore Abby Cavaiani squats down to line up a shot at the Bears’ Twin Oaks Invitational on Sept. 10, 2019.

The Missouri State women’s golf team is heading into its spring portion of the season with tournaments spanning from February to May with the possibility of an NCAA Regional appearance.

The expectations for this team remained lofty over the course of the season, but head coach Kevin Kane believes his golfers can meet those expectations.

“Our expectations are high,” Kane said. “We’ve got a tough schedule that will definitely challenge us.”

The Bears started out the season with a bang, placing second in their first two tournaments. They carried on this hot streak, only placing outside the top 10 once during the fall season. 

Along with experiencing team success, some Bears also stood out and achieved individual success. Sophomore Abby Cavaiani and freshman Johanna Wollenhaupt produced a great fall season for the Bears, and Kane said they can keep it rolling in the spring. 

“Abby Cavaiani was our best player in the fall,” Kane said. “She finished in the top 10 in every tournament — remarkably consistent. Freshman Johanna Wollenhaupt made a great contribution in her first semester. She’s just figuring out how good she is.”

Based on her success in her first two seasons at MSU, Kane said he thinks Cavaiani will build off of her early-season success and repeat as a conference medalist. 

Cavaiani and Wollenhaupt were the standout golfers in the fall for the Bears, but Kane expects every golfer to make meaningful contributions. 

“Those two — Cavaiani and Wollenhaupt — should be leading the way in the spring along with Allison Bray, Faith Belmear, Brooke Newell and Bridget Schulte,” Kane said.

The Bears’ ultimate goal is to win the conference and make an appearance in the NCAA Regionals, a feat they fell short of last year but one they accomplished in the two seasons prior.

Kane said his team is in the right space to not only compete in but to win the conference and reach the NCAA Regional. 

“We’ve won the conference tournament two of the last three years and want to get back into the winner’s circle this year,” Kane said. “I think we’re certainly one of the favorites.”

The Bears’ first tournament of the spring is the Rio Verde Invitational, hosted by Western Michigan University. The Invitational will span from Feb. 21-23.