Golf finds success in first-year players

Entering its fifth invitational of the fall season this weekend, the McDaniel College Mason-Dixon Classic on Saturday, Sept. 30 through Oct. 1, the Allegheny Men’s Golf Team has thus far reigned in multiple successes.

The success of their team and its high expectations moving forward are equated to the talented youth presence entering this year, according to team member Samuel Gray, ’19.

“I have been excited by the play of the freshmen, and their consistency is also very impressive,” Gray said. “All our freshmen play like they have more experience than they have and showed some serious mental toughness.”

Three first-year golfers, Matthew Del Rosso, Louie Olsakovsky and Jack O’Leary debuted over Labor Day weekend and helped lead the team to victory. The Gators secured first place out of 10 competing teams at the first invitational of the season, the Gatorade Collegiate Invitational hosted by the College of Wooster in Dover, Ohio.

“I would have to say that my favorite aspect of that weekend was that we were able to win when we did not play particularly well and win big,” Gray said. “The future is looking very bright for this team and I am excited to be a part of it.”

On Sept. 10 and 11, the Allegheny College Men’s Golf Team hosted 17 teams for the Guy and Jeanne Kuhn Memorial Invitational at their home course, the Country Club of Meadville. The Gators placed eighth out of 18 competing teams.

The following weekend, the Gators placed second out of 10 competing teams at the Carnegie Mellon Fall Shootout in Apollo, PA on Sept. 16 and 17. On the first day of the invitational, four Allegheny golfers, Bobby Hapanowicz, ’18, Samuel Gray, ’20, Matthew Del Rosso, ’21, and Louie Olsakovsky, ’21,  led in the top 10 of the individual leaderboard.

At the conclusion of the Carnegie Mellon Fall Shootout, first-year Louie Olsakovsky, ’21, won the individual title of the event. After leading the Allegheny men’s team with a two-round team total of 577, 287-290, at Carnegie Mellon University, Olsakovsky was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week.

“I think transitioning into collegiate golf wouldn’t be the same for us, the freshmen, without the upperclassmen of the team,” Olsakovsky said. “Any success we have, we have the older guys of the team to thank.”

Entering the Mercyhurst University Invitational in Erie, PA the following weekend, Sept. 24 and 25, the men’s golf team closed the first round in contention for the overall team title with a total of 302. At the conclusion of the invitational, the Gators finished in fifth place out of 13 competing teams, which were primarily Division II teams. Olsakovsky, for the second straight competition, had the highest final score for Allegheny and placed as an overall individual medalist in the invitational. Olsakovsky, also for the second consecutive week, was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week and has become this week’s Allegheny College Athlete of the Week.

Hailing from Pittsburgh and a high school teammate of Olsakovsky, Jack O’Leary, ’21, was the second highest scorer at the Mercyhurst University Invitational.

“As a team, we have so much potential this year,” O’Leary said. “Beyond this year, I expect the same because we have so much talent in our class. Our captain [Bobby Hapanowicz] and the upperclassmen have given us so much to work towards.”

The Allegheny Men’s Golf Team will continue competing this upcoming weekend at the McDaniel College Mason-Dixon Classic on Saturday, Sept. 30 through Oct. 1.