OSKALOOSA, Iowa – A half-dozen birdies on the day set the tone for the Warrior women's golf team, which finds itself fourth after the first day of the Statesman Classic hosted by William Penn University.
"It was great to see Maria have a strong round with an 81, and our freshman, Nicole, has proven herself with how consistent she is with an 82, especially after being 6-over through her first three holes," Waldorf assistant golf coach Cody Stovall said.
The Warriors shot a team score of 53-over 337 on the par-71 Edmundson Golf Course and are 29 shots back of host and tournament leader, William Penn (24-over 308). The final round of the tournament – the finale to the fall season for the Warrior women's golf team – is Tuesday.
Valdes – who had three birdies on the day - led Waldorf with a 10-over 81 and is seventh, nine strokes off the pace set by Elise Warne of William Penn, who shot an opening-round, 1-over 72.
The Warriors' Misner is one shot back of her teammate in a tie for eighth after an 11-over 82. She had two birdies on the round, a day that was warm and windy, and challenged the Waldorf players.
"That made the girls really have to think their way around the course today on those holes that the wind effected them," Stovall said.
"We got off to a slow start today, but it was great to see the girls stick with it and grind it out," the Warriors coach added.
While Valdes and Misner led the way, the Warriors solid opening round was a true team effort as Halle Hauer is 20th overall after a 15-over 86, Kailee Ward is tied for 21st at 17-over 88, and Haleigh Biernacki is tied for 37th after a 23-over 94.
And Haley Lawrence, playing as an individual, was tied for 40th with a first-round 24-over 95.
"Halle Hauer hit the ball solid today but couldn't get anything going with the putter, which stalled her round," Stover said, adding, "it was nice to Kailee come back on the back nine with a solid finish."