Girls’ golf makes history

Grizzles make it to the state championship tournament, obtain fourth


Jack McGrail, Sports editor

  It’s not often that a high school sports team gets to compete in a statewide tournament.

  For the first time in Granite Bay history, the girls’ varsity golf team had the opportunity to compete against five other schools in the State Championship at Poppy Hills Golf Course on Nov. 14.

  Golf is easily one of the most lengthy and difficult sport to reach state. Each round adds on to itself making the competition better and better. The girls had to continue to up their game round by round as solidifying only first, second, third place, and occasionally fourth place qualified them for the next round.

  The girls’ journey to state began with an undefeated regular season in SFL followed by a first place finish in the Division I North tournament at Rancho Murieta Country Club. The team continued their surge by winning the Sac-Joaquin Section at Masters and qualifying for the NorCal tournament where they were eliminated last year.

  Junior golfer Yena Jang had anticipated her dream of reaching state all five years of playing golf. Being a big part of the team last year when the girls’ varsity golf team ended their season in NorCal playoffs only motivated the team to work harder to make the state championship round this year.

  “We knew that with our successful season last year we had the ability to make it to State. Instead of just trying to qualify for State, we changed our mindset to working towards a State win,” Jang said. “There was more pressure, but all I could do was trust my game and enjoy the moment.”

  With girls’ golf having an especially tough road to state, it is not common to see a golf team reach the state tournament.

  Junior golfer Deborah Dollesin knew that the team was confident for the upcoming season and motivated to go further in playoffs than last year.

  “Since my freshman year, as a team we knew that we had potential to make it to state so it has been a goal for three seasons, and we finally made it,” Dollesin said. The team has been competitive for the last  few years, and were just looking to put it all together to achieve a state final appearance.

  The biggest difference that allowed the team to find so much success this year was that the team “had a mindset of wanting to make playoffs, but that changed that changed to wanting to win State. We have had a lot of experience from the last few seasons and I think we knew this year we were going to make it all the way,” Dollesin said.

  Because of their past success over the last few years, the girls’ golf team was ready this year to compete not just to make playoffs, but to win it all, and their new mindset really paid off.

  Though they couldn’t pull off the miraculous State victory, the team finished in an impressive fourth place at Poppy Hills GC.

  With only one senior departing after this year (Sienna Lyford), the team expects their first State appearance to not be their last.

  Girls’ golf coach Jason Sitterud was also excited and proud of the golf team for performing so well this season.

  “I think it comes down to experience, especially with high school athletes. It is difficult to simulate the situations involved in a playoff atmosphere until you have actually been there and gone through it.  Because our girls are “battle” tested, they knew what to expect and embraced that opportunity,” Sitterud said. “They learned to put themselves in position to be successful and avoid the big numbers.”