ACU traveled to Hawaii to compete in the Hoakalei CC Collegiate Invitational this past week, finishing eighth overall. It was the final fall tournament for the team as they go into the off-season to prepare for a competitive spring season against multiple Western Athletic Conference opponents.
“We felt really confident coming out of last week’s tournament,” said head coach Tom Shaw. “Hawaii is just different though, as it has so many different teams that we haven’t played yet this season. It helped having played this course before, we just didn’t know what the competition was going to be like.”
In the previous tournament the Wildcats participated in, they ended in sixth place the highest placement of the season so far. Coming out of the first round the team looked like they were on par placement-wise to tie with last week’s results. The team did fall a placement in the second round, and then a second fall occurred in the final round. The team ultimately ended their tournament right down the middle placing eighth out of fifteen teams. Jake Bay, senior from Shattuck, Oklahoma, played in the fifth spot on the lineup but placed third out of the team’s players.
“It had been a struggle for me the first couple of weeks this season,” Bay said. “The first day I hit the ball extremely well and put myself in some great spots. I did make a couple of mental errors that second day.”
Bay ended placing 42nd of 79 but the highlight for him was the first day. Coming out of the first day he was placed 19th, highest of every ACU player in the tournament. He did struggle the second day dropping 13 places to his final placement. The highest placement came from Brian Choe, a senior from Coppell. Choe ended the first day in 32nd place but rose to 14th after a very successful second day.
“We played at some great events and tournaments this season,” Bay said. “We got to see some great competition, especially from our new conference. The fall didn’t go exactly as we expected or wanted, but at the same time, we realized we aren’t far off and know where to improve coming into the spring.”
With this being the final tournament of the fall, the team now heads into the offseason to start preparing for spring tournaments. ACU placed around eighth or ninth place in each of the tournaments, with 14th place from the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate hoping to be the outlier of the season.
The spring tournaments will begin with The Border Olympics in Laredo, hosted by the University of Houston from Feb 14 through Feb 15.