Solid individual performances not enough for IUP at home

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After shooting an 18-over 302 and completing Sunday’s opening round in seventh place, IUP shot an 11-over 295 Monday to finish in fifth place at the 53rd annual Cecil Spadafora Invitational in Indiana.

The Crimson Hawks, who hosted 15 opponents at the event, finished Round 1 eight strokes back of leaders Le Moyne College and West Liberty University and completed the entire tournament 11 strokes back of first-place West Chester University.

Max Kirsch (junior, business) led the way for IUP, shooting one shot behind the leader at one-under 70 after Day 1. Kirsch’s round Sunday was his best of the year. He’d go on to shoot a 5-over 76 Monday, placing him into a three-way tie for eighth place.

Two other Crimson Hawks finished in the top 25. Michael Hoare (sophomore, marketing) had IUP’s top second-round score, shooting an even 71. He finished in a tie for 19th overall with an 8-over 150. Tyler Erb (sophomore, business) played as an individual and shot a two-day total of 6-over 148, finishing in a five-way tie for 12th place.

IUP hasn’t won the Spadafora Invitational since the 2013-14 season. The Crimson Hawks finished in second place last season.

“It’s difficult to win your own tournament,” IUP head coach Fred Joseph said, according to The Indiana Gazette. “It shouldn’t be, but it is.”

Kenneth Sames (senior, business), Brett Geiser (senior, management) and Josh Bartley (sophomore, management) each shot a 10-over 152, tying them for 31st overall. John Foley (freshman, business) played as an individual and finished 52nd, shooting a 17-over 159.

This was the Crimson Hawks’ final tune-up before the Atlantic/East Regional Championships at the Timber Banks Golf Course in Baldwinsville, N.Y., May 2-4. IUP currently sits No. 2 in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region rankings.

The Atlantic Region tournament will feature 20 teams, and the top five will move on to the NCAA Division II Championships in Denver May 16-18. If IUP completes its goal of winning an NCAA Regional Championship, it will be the sixth in program history.