Ceres High grad Hannah Smith played in a total of nine matches while suiting up for the Alvernia University women’s golf team during her freshman year.
The NCAA Divison-III college is located in Pennsylvania.
“It wasn’t intimidating as I thought it would be,” she said.
The Golden Wolves qualified for the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time in program history this past spring.
Alvernia finished in 22nd place.
The Golden Wolves also claimed the Middle Atlantic Conference Championship for the second time.
“I’m very proud of my teammates,” said Hannah, who wasn’t a part of Alvernia’s five-person starting lineup. “They did a fantastic job.”
Smith contributed more during the first half of the season, which was staged during the fall.
“It was hard for me to adjust to being so far away from home."Hannah Smith
“It was hard for me to adjust to being so far away from home,” she said. “I had a lot of fun when I did play. It was a good experience.”
Hannah competed in the Jefferson Dual (eighth place, 126), CMU Shootout (44th, 109-108-217), Alvernia Invitational (28th, 114), ESU Invitational (27th, 107), Eastern Invitational (22nd, 107) and Lady Dutchmen Invitational (17th, 104).
Smith was pleased with her performance at the Dutchmen tourney, staged Oct. 21, at Lebanon Country Club in Pennsylvania.
“That was my best score I had all season,” she said. “It was a difficult course.”
Hannah was limited to just a handful of matches during the springtime.
She played in the MAC Preview (33rd place, 120), Kutztown Invitational (26th, 115) and Alvernia Invitational (31st, 119).
“I wasn’t practicing as much as I could because my hands were so bad,” she said.
Smith was recently diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome after experiencing numbness in her right hand.
“I’ve been having issues with my wrists since my sophomore year in high school,” she said. “It’s gotten progressively worse. I’m doing physical therapy three times a week until I go back to school. I’m strengthening both of my wrists.”
Smith will not play golf for Alvernia in the fall.
“Golf has been a part of my life for the past five years,” she said. “It sucks it (my career) has to be put on hold for the moment. I’ll still be a part of the team. I just won’t get to practice and play. That’s the hardest part. Not the pain.
Ceres High advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs four times, captured one Western Athletic Conference Championship and posted a combined record of 37-9 in league play during Smith’s four years on the team.
Smith wrapped up her prep golf career with a ninth-place finish (93) at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Championships.
She tied for sixth (105) at the conference’s year-end tournament.
She earned first-team all-WAC honors.
The Bulldogs finished second in the WAC’s overall standings.
Ceres High made history in 2014 by claiming its first-ever conference title. The Bulldogs won all 12 of their WAC dual matches. Ceres High placed first at the conference’s mid-season and year-end events. The Bulldogs posted a team score of 513 on their way to a program-best runner-up finish at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament.