After 25 consecutive dual-match wins, the varsity girls golf team fell short to the Whitney Wildcats by seven strokes in last Thursday’s match with a score of 224-231. Nonetheless, the 11-1 Tigers have dominated so far this season and currently share the number one spot in the Capital Valley Conference with the Wildcats.
Led primarily by seniors Kayla Kwong and Abby Hall, who have the lowest nine-hole averages on the team, the girls stormed their way through the first half of league play undefeated. However, they still came across a few challenging matchups. After narrowly defeating the Wildcats and the Ponderosa Bruins by four strokes and one stroke, respectively, the girls were excited for what the rest of the season had in store for them.
“When we played Ponderosa, we were adding up scores at the very end and I was in the last group and everyone was sitting there biting their nails because we knew it was going to be a close game,” Hall said. “Someone said we lost and I just remember the look on our faces was just so upsetting. Then Fukuman added up the scores and we won by one stroke and we started screaming and hugging each other and we were just so excited.”
Since then, the girls have lost only one match. Coach Corey Fukuman attributes the team’s success thus far to multiple factors.
“This group of girls gets along really well and they are very supportive of each other. We have a very balanced team this year and every player on our team has been vital to our team success,” Fukuman said. “Although golf is more of an individual sport everyone puts the team goals ahead of their individual goals.”
The Tigers are made up of seven seniors and one junior. According to senior Anna Ostrom, playing together over the course of their high school careers has given the girls the opportunity to grow closer to one another. She attributes some of their success to this chemistry.
“Since we’re all upperclassmen, it was pretty much just the girls that I had started with when we were all freshman, like Kayla,” Ostrom said. “Then Sydney [Ferre] and Carly [Nicholson] came and they made the whole thing really fun because it was like a clash of two groups and we all became sisters.”
Hall played during her freshman and sophomore years but decided not to play during her junior year. After hearing that previous team member Delaney Grimes was not returning to the team this year as a senior, Hall chose to return in an effort to fill the gap and help the team.
“What made me want to come back was [that] I just missed having something to do with my free time and being on a team that really cares for each other is awesome; we are all just really good friends and we get along really well,” Hall said. “I heard Delaney wasn’t coming back and they were undefeated so I decided I wanted to come back and help.”
According to Ostrom, the loss of Grimes was a blow to the team, but Hall stepped up and filled her spot well. Nicholson will be in a similar position in the future, having to step up and lead the team as the only returning player next year.
Nicholson feels that it is her responsibility to kindle a similar chemistry with her new team next season in order to have the possibility of being as successful as previous teams.
“I have to rebuild team chemistry with everyone coming up from JV,” Nicholson said. “It’s going to be hard to fill the senior’s roles next season, but I think if we have the right determination we could fill it pretty well.”
The girls hope to defeat the Bruins for a second time tomorrow afternoon at home at Sierra View Country Club. Fukuman recognizes the importance of this match in regards to the team’s shot at a consecutive league title and has faith that the girls will come out victorious.
“Our team has been extremely focused and working hard to try and repeat as CVC champions this year,” Fukuman said. “I feel every girl on our team has improved on their scores from last season and this is probably one of the best girls golf teams we have had at Roseville High School.”