The Rolla golf team opened their season in the Helias Invitational on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The Lady Bulldogs got off to a great start, finishing in third place as a team.

Marliere Toothaker led the charge for Rolla with a score of 12-over-par 84. That placed her in a three-way tie for eighth place overall. Hannah Hilker finished in a tie for 14th, shooting a 15-over-par 87. Audrey Collier and Emma Hobbs both tied for 25th by shooting 91s, which was 19-over-par. Abby Hobbs rounded out the top five for the Lady Bulldogs, shooting a 28-over-par 100. 

As a team, Rolla shot a 353, which was good for 65-over-par. They finished in third place behind Rock Bridge's 334 and Helias' 347. 

"The girls were chomping at the bit to play after being rained out twice last week. They came out and played well while utilizing intelligent course management," said head coach Zack Nixon. "Meadow Lake is a tough course, and the Crusader Classic is packed with fierce competition. Finishing third in this tournament was a great way to start the season. The girls have been working hard, and it was great to see that pay off."

Rolla has a full lineup this season, running 10 deep between their varsity and JV. They've got great experience from Collier, a senior, as well as Toothaker, a junior. Hilker joins the team this season as a junior. They also have sophomores Mikah Allison and Jesse Coverdell, as well as five freshmen in Abby and Emma Hobbs, Sara Coverdell, Lexi Luebbery and Rebekah Vail.

"The team is dedicated and hardworking. The individualistic nature of the sport has not taken over the team atmosphere among these girls who are there to help and support one another," said coach Nixon/ "After being rained out of two tournaments last week, the Bulldogs were ready to play, and play they did, posting the lowest scores the girl’s team has seen in many years." 

The Lady Bulldogs will continue their season with a tri against Ozark Conference rivals Camdenton and Waynesville on Tuesday, Sept. 11.