Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

UWO golf finishes third at Mad Dawg Invitational in Stevens Point

The team poses for a photo after playing in the Mad Dawg Invitational on Sept. 30 through Oct. 1. Oshkosh lost a tie-breaker to the UW-Whitewater Warhawks and fell to third in the tournament.
[/media-credit] The team poses for a photo after playing in the Mad Dawg Invitational on Sept. 30 through Oct. 1. Oshkosh lost a tie-breaker to the UW-Whitewater Warhawks and fell to third in the tournament.

The UW Oshkosh women’s golf team spent Saturday and Sunday in Stevens Point at the Mad Dawg Invitational. The team took home third place out of 13 teams in a field largely composed of Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools.

Senior golfer Micayla Richards was the leading scorer for the Titans, placing third out of 73 golfers. Richards trailed UW-Whitewater’s Ashley Hofmeister by five strokes after the first round of play. Richards then shot a tournament-best 76 on Sunday but fell two-strokes short in her comeback effort.

Richards said for her to ensure she performed well, she needed to remain very focused on letting the bad shots go in order to focus on the next one.

“On Sunday, I was able to let go of the bad shots easily and take advantage of birdie opportunities,” Richards said. “I really just focused on one shot at a time and tried avoiding all trouble areas.”

Oshkosh also had strong finishes from junior Kayla Priebe and sophomore Hannah Braun coming in at fifth and tenth, respectively. Priebe turned in her scorecard with a two-day score of 159, good for 13-over par.

Priebe said she is feeling confident after two strong finishes in the past two tournaments, but knows there is still work to be done.

“I did not start the season off well, but at our past two tournaments I have played much better, and that is definitely a great feeling going into our conference tournament next weekend,” Priebe said. “However, each day of golf is a completely new day, so I will be working hard in practice this week to prepare for our conference tournament.”

Other team finishers for the Titans were freshman Keara Richards in 29th place at 30-over par and junior Ireland Dunne in 53rd place at 43-over par.

Individual golfers playing in the Mad Dawg tournament were sophomores Anna Scheibe, Hanna Rebholz and Sophia Mazurek, and freshmen Michelle Lodholz and Claire Hamburg. While these golfers did not end up factoring towards the team score, head coach Liza Ruetten said they are just as vital towards the team’s success.

“Our individual players beyond the five are the future of this team,” Ruetten said. “All season, we have rotated players 4-10 in order to give all a chance to compete at the collegiate level. Every meet leading up to this weekend has helped all [players] to gain tournament experience to ensure that we will be ready to play our absolute best.”

When struggling on a hole, Coach Ruetten said she uses a few tools to keep the players focused on the next shot they will have to make.

Micayla Richards (left) and Kayla Priebe hold flags from the Stevens Point Country Club after placing in third and fifth places, respectively.
[/media-credit] Micayla Richards (left) and Kayla Priebe hold flags from the Stevens Point Country Club after placing in third and fifth places, respectively.

“Players that might be struggling on a hole are reminded that they have team members on the course who are there to support them” Ruetten said. “We have personal relationships with each player and try to get them to forget the errant shots or higher scoring holes and look forward to the next by injecting humor and stories to get their mind off of the negative.”

The golf team travels next on Oct. 6 – Oct. 8 in Reedsburg, Wis. for the WIAC championship. The tournament begins at noon on Friday afternoon, and continues on Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.

The team took a preseason trip to Reedsburg Country Club to play a round before the season started. This helped the players who haven’t played the course before get acclimated to the characteristics of the course.

Bob Feller, an 18-year PGA Professional at the course, explained what players have to prepare for when coming to their course.

“Fast greens are a signature of our course,” Feller said. “There is a little adjustment period for the players to try and get used to the faster greens.”

Heading into the final weekend of the WIAC fall season, Ruetten said practices take on a different dynamic and become much more important.

“Practices for our final week become more personalized,” Ruetten said. “Coach [Laura] Stair and myself will be working with each individual to determine what their specific needs are in order to be successful for our conference championship.”

Expectations will be heightened for the returning golfers as Braun, Priebe and Micayla Richards all finished in the top-ten of the tournament last year.

They will try to prevent defending champion UW-Stout from repeating as conference champions again, and will attempt to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA championship in Florida next May.

Improving upon last year is a goal held by the team. In last year’s WIAC Championship, the Titans held a lead into the third and final day of the contest. Not being able to withstand a furious rally by UW-Stout, Oshkosh took home a second-place finish and lost by five strokes, 980-985.

In last year’s conference championship, the team had members earn individual honors. Of returning athletes, Braun, Priebe and Micayla Richards all recorded top seven finishes in the final event of the year.

In Priebe’s sophomore year, she took home a third-place finish with a total of 242 strokes over the three-day tournament. Prior to this event, she had recorded a first, second and a third-place finish during the season.

Ever since Ruetten took over the program in 2012-2013, the team has finished in seventh place only once, in her first year. After that, the team has taken home fourth, third, second and first-place finishes in consecutive years leading up to this season.

The WIAC conference championship begins Oct. 6.

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Neal Hogden, Managing Editor
The College of Letters and Science at UW Oshkosh is proposing to increase teaching loads in 2019-20 in an effort to overcome a $1 million budget shortfall. Under the plan, announced Wednesday morning by email to the COLS faculty and instructional academic staff, full-time professors on curriculum modifications must teach at least 21 credits in 2019-20 versus the 18 credits they currently teach. The plan comes as part of a series of budget cuts to deal with declining revenue, decreasing state funding and lowered enrollment numbers. Advocates of the move say it will allow the University to continue to offer a variety of classes while not laying off any full-time faculty, while opponents say it will hurt student research opportunities and worsen faculty morale. A three-year recovery plan that was introduced last year called for the COLS to cut $1 million during the 2019-20 fiscal year. According to COLS Interim Dean Colleen McDermott, this is the second year in the three-year plan. “The first year of the cut is this year, academic year ’18-’19, and the academic units cut 30 percent of their total share of the cut,” McDermott said. “The second year, ’19-’20, we’re supposed to do 50 percent of the cut. Then the third year would be 20 percent. Right now, we’re working on the cuts we need to make for ’19-’20, and that’s where this $1 million number comes in. That’s about half of the total cut that the College of Letters and Science had to take.” Multiple factors have played a role in the need for budget cuts across the UW system. Declining enrollment rates have hurt UWO and other UW colleges in recent years. According to an article released by the Chancellor in early 2018, UWO’s undergraduate enrollment has fallen by 1,624 students, a 15-percent drop, from 2012 to 2017. However, in fall 2018, freshman enrollment was up nearly 200 students. In 2013, Gov. Scott Walker enacted a tuition freeze that prevents state colleges from raising the price of their tuition. If re-elected in November, Walker has already said he would extend the tuition freeze at University of Wisconsin campuses for four more years. That would mean the state universities would be facing 10 years of tuition freezes. This, as well as close to $500 million in cuts to the UW System budget, has crippled UW Oshkosh and other UW schools financially in recent years. McDermott said the college has worked to do the best it could to cut the budget without harming students’ experiences at UWO. “We’ve tried to be as lean and as efficient as possible while still getting students through the curriculum and allowing them to have a successful academic career.” History department chair and Interim Director of Student Research and Creative Activity Stephen Kercher said the added workload for professors in COLS will hurt the students more than the teachers. “Faculty are going to have even less time than they normally have to work with students on research,” Kercher said. “The only way that student research succeeds at a University like ours is if faculty are able to have the time they need to do research on their own and with students.” Kercher said the change in policy could also be very harmful to the research that is done within COLS. While professors might be frustrated by the policy, students are ultimately the ones that are damaged by it, he said. “We’ll have to teach more,” Kercher said. “We’ll survive. We’ll research less. Students are the ones who are going to be hurt.” Kercher said he believes a change in the policy that determines the teaching load at UW Oshkosh is tricky and potentially harmful. “It’s like messing with the college DNA,” Kercher said. “Research is very much a part of what professors at the college do. We have a very strong program of student research and we’ve been making gains. We’ve been improving and catching up to some degree [with] some of our sister institutions in the UW system that I’m afraid that changing the teaching load of faculty in our college will deal a very big blow.” Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor John Koker said this is just the COLS way of doing its part to help the college regulate its budget. “Decreases in enrollment and cuts in state subsidies over the last five years have lowered our revenue,” Koker said. “We need to bring spending in line with revenue. The College of Letters and Science is working to meet their reduction with as little impact on students and course offerings as possible.” In a statement released to COLS faculty and instructional staff, McDermott said this should be a temporary change and after the budget has been regulated, the staff could go back to having lighter teaching loads. “I fully understand the hardship that this change may present to faculty and instructional academic staff,” McDermott said. “We have exhausted every other route of cost cutting for the college short of laying off faculty or closing programs. Please remember that this is a temporary adjustment to teaching loads and the COLS dean’s office is committed to a return to the original spirit of the curriculum modification policy once University ‘right sizing’ has been accomplished.” UWO Chancellor Andrew Leavitt will be holding budget open forums next week.

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