BUCKHANNON – The West Virginia Wesleyan women's golf team has been the surprise of the Mountain East Conference through the first month of the 2017 campaign.
Junior Becca Davis is the veteran of the starting five, serving as a key leader and player for Coach J.D. Lamm and the young team.
"It is amazing how the team has gotten so close so quickly," Davis said. "It is like we have known each other for a long time, and we enjoy traveling to the tournaments and spending time together. The chemistry is really good and fun to be a part of."
Davis has already produced a solid Wesleyan career.
She was in line to be a top 20 player in the league her freshman year, but she suffered an injury during day one of the MEC Tournament and could not finish. Last season, she rebounded for a stellar sophomore year, placing eighth in the league and helping the Lady Bobcats land three golfers in the top ten.
"We have some big goals as a unit and personally I have some big goals," Davis said. "We are working hard, and we have some big tournaments coming up the next few weeks."
Davis' early athletic career did not involve golf. While she played the sport sparingly and for fun, it was the sport of cross country where she found early success. She appeared headed for a collegiate career as a runner, but a back injury during her sophomore year at Parkland High School ended that quest.
Davis joined the golf team that year and a new goal was put forth. She says, that while it was her first time she was playing seriously, the scores did not come in the beginning. Averaging in the 120's that year, she was definitely a work in progress.
My brother was a good player and had played in college at Muhlenberg. As a result, her coach knew the family well, and made the transition very comfortable. Davis was willing to work hard, and eventually the results started to come.
"Before my second season, I was playing a lot, getting swings in about four hours a day," Davis said. "I was able to get an instructor from Lehigh University, and he took an interest in my improvement. That helped a lot, and my game improved in several areas."
By Davis' senior year, she was able to post several rounds in the 70's and was one of the top scorers on Parkland's boys team. Soon, the college coaches were calling.
A native of Orefield, Pa., Davis now resides in nearby Allentown, Pa. This locale put her close to several colleges in the eastern part of the state, and one of her top choices was Eastern University in Philadelphia. Eventually, Wesleyan became a player in the recruiting game.
"I filled out one of the questionnaires and then head coach Nick Patella contacted me soon afterward," Davis said. "It wasn't long after that, he called and offered. It was a good fit for me...Buckhannon is a lot different than where I am from, but it is relaxing here and I appreciate that."
Playing with solid players like Katie Casey and Becky Gossard in the Fall of 2015, Davis was on a strong team right away. Coach James Huber added Swedish star Sandra Brink the following Fall, and the end result was the aforementioned accomplishment of three players in the top ten. Davis and her new coach, are hoping for a bigger team finish in 2017.
Wesleyan has already made noise in early season play. The women produced a solid second place finish at the Glade Springs Intercollegiate event and won the Ohio Valley University Women's Golf Classic last weekend.
Davis took runner-up honors at OVU firing a 166 (83-83).
"Becca has been a tremendous leader for us," Lamm said. "She has been a solid player and huge part of the team coming together as we have. Right now, we have a few things we are working out with her swing, and she needs to finish a little better with her short game. But she is working hard, and improving as we go along."
Majoring in math and physics, Davis has some major aspirations professionally. Her objective is to live a life of service, and to help society with her skill set.
"My life goal is make prosthetics for underdeveloped countries," Davis said. "I would like to travel the world and do this in different cultures or wherever there is a need. I am taking a trip to Guatamala this winter, and I hope to do much more traveling as I further my education."
For now, Davis and her young teammates (three freshmen and a sophomore besides her in the team's top five) are chasing history, hoping to see the Lady Bobcats make a run at an unprecedented MEC title.
Coach Lamm's squad is back in action Monday and Tuesday as they host the Mountain East Conference Fall Tournament at the Stonewall Jackson Resort.