Some people endure struggles and hardship and let it get the best of them.
Sophomore Marianna Stepp, a member of the Oakland University women’s golf team, has overcome an injury and said she is honored to still play for the Grizzlies.
Back on course
“I fell in love with the campus and am blessed to be in this position,” Stepp said.
Stepp earned sixth place out of 10 at the Jackrabbit Invitational in Primm, Nev., which took place March 12 and 13. Her best career score is a 74 on a par 72. The team placed fourth.
Just last year, she swung her club and turned the wrong way, tearing her meniscus.
“I had physical therapy every day a week for my surgery from April until September,” Stepp said. “I did more in the weight room to build strength and balance.”
Despite her knee injury, she refused to give up.
“The process was long but I wanted to do everything I could right away with no short cuts,” Stepp said.
In sports like football or basketball, it is good to get mad or angry because it creates aggressive play. It is the opposite in golf, according to Stepp.
“Golf is a more mental sport and you have to think the whole way around the course, and your attitude must stay positive,” Stepp said.
Even her teammate, junior Donna Fiscelli, believes golf is different.
“You have to look behind the ball, visualize the ball, step up to it, and execute it,” Fiscelli said.
Combining Stepp’s attitude and her passion for the sport gives her goals for the future.
“My future goal is to win Summit Leagues this spring and play professional golf after college,” Stepp said.
Coach Russ Cunningham noted the team’s growth in each player individually.
“Each person should feel that they have done their best effort in all aspects of being a student athlete-academically, athletically, physically and socially,” Cunningham said.
Stepp also looks up to her teammates, including Fiscelli.
“(Fiscelli) has been a role model since middle school and she guides me and definitely helped me transition from playing in high school to college,” Stepp said.
Fiscelli shared the same sentiments as her teammate.
“She is a great player and it’s amazing to watch her out on the course,” Fiscelli said. “I even look up to her and supported her when she came off her injury.”
Stepp also serves as a mentor for younger girls on the team, such as freshman Haylee Zyber.
“Marianna took me under her wing,” Zyber said. “She guided me into the rights and wrongs of golf and in my life.”
Other friends come out to support the girls, including junior Alexandra St. Pierre, who is a fan of the team.
“The girls on the team have great personalities, and I can see the passion in their eyes with what they do,” St. Pierre said. “I love them all equally, and they work well as a team.”
Stepp hopes to be a leader for other players.
“The main thing I hope people remember about me is that I set a good example for my teammates and set a standard for all new incoming athletes,” Stepp said.
The team will compete in the Cincinnati spring invitational in Crystal River, Fla., March 22-24.