After struggling to play outside in gloomy Ann Arbor since returning, you can bet that the team was anxious to go back to sunny Ariz., where first-year coach Cheryl Stacy captured her first coaching title just a few weeks ago.

Stacy took her five-player squad to Tucson to play in the Mountain View Challenge on Friday and Saturday. Michigan played the first two rounds of the 54-hole event on Friday, followed by the final round on Saturday.

The Wolverines finished day one tied for ninth in the field of 18, and finished the event in the same place. However, the team’s overall score improved with each round.

Stacy wasn’t upset with the team’s performance, but she did feel that coming off of a win they should have played with more swagger.

“It just seemed like they played the practice round looking really good and confident, but then during the rounds they looked a little tentative or nervous,” Stacy said. “It’s just a matter of having the confidence and keeping it while they’re in tournament play.”

Colorado State ended up winning the tournament with an unusually high score of 26 over par. Stacy felt that was a result of some not-so-friendly weather.

“The first day was pretty windy, especially after the first nine holes,” she said. “It was gusty at times, and it was a little difficult to play. I think that’s why the overall scores of all the teams were a little higher than we expected.”

Senior Ashley Bauer finished tied for 28th on the individual leaderboard — a far cry from her victory in Michigan’s last match when she recorded the team’s all-time lowest score for a match. That performance three weeks ago earned her the honor of Big Ten Women’s Golfer of the Week.

Bauer has been a model of consistency for the Wolverines, playing in 45 straight events since coming to Ann Arbor, as well as holding the best career average for any golfer in Wolverine history. But this weekend — the first this season that she didn’t finish with the team’s top score — Bauer wasn’t too thrilled about her performance.

“She was pretty disappointed and wanted to finish a lot lower than that,” Stacy said.

Stacy also stressed how much Bauer — the captain — means to her team.

“She’s not a huge vocal leader, but she leads by example and with her play. When she doesn’t get off to a good start, sometimes it does affect a bit of the team’s momentum. She’s usually so consistent that if she doesn’t have a good round, it throws everything off a little bit.”

But while Ashley was having a bit of a down week, sophomore Meagan Bauer, Ashley’s little sister, had one of the best performances of her young career. She shot a team-best 10 over-par, which tied her for the 23rd-best individual score of the weekend.

“She played really well,” Stacy said. “She finished really strong which was good for her because she was upset after (Friday).”

The Wolverines will have two weeks off before traveling to Columbus, Ind. for the Indiana Invitational. Moving forward, Stacy is just looking for some sunshine to help her team develop more consistency.

“When you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to get out on grass and you might have to putt in the basement, it kind of puts a damper on everything. As the weather gets nicer, hopefully it will help our play.”

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