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Girl golfers still on the upswing
The Spartans are ready to make another postseason run as two state qualifiers lead the way.
The consistent work ethic of the Bainbridge girls’ golf team over the past few years has helped them improve enough to put them among the best teams in the state.
The constant time together also makes it so that friendships are forged tightly and new players are welcomed, rather than shunned.
Senior co-captain Ryan Nottingham is glad to continue to build that bond with the other girls.
“We just clicked,” she said of the new players. “There’s an age difference but I can joke around with them and they joke back. They’re not scared of me, which is really cool.”
With some new blood and three veteran players, the tight-knit Spartans are ready to return to state for another year.
Last year, Bainbridge ran through the regular season undefeated for the second straight year, but lost out to Holy Names for the Metro League title.
They sent five golfers to districts in May, where three qualified to help the Spartans earn their second straight fourth place trophy.
The team loses a veteran golfer in Melanie Trygg, but three return in Nottingham and juniors Anna Bourland and Peyton Lunzer.
Bourland, the team’s number one golfer, has improved her standing at state the past two years. She finished 18th as a freshman, then took ninth last season.
She won a WJGA district title during the summer and came in second at the state tournament.
Nottingham has been to state the past two years while Lunzer just missed the cut last season.
“She’s been practicing all summer,” Nottingham said of Lunzer. “She looks really strong.”
Head coach Steve Nielsen expects all three to be in the hunt for a spot at state.
“They’re penciling in all the tournaments,” Nielsen said. “They plan on qualifying for state.”
Four newcomers are on the team, including three freshman in Maddy Devlin, Julia Gross and Jasmine Shattuck.
Shattuck has the most experience, as her parents have a membership at Wing Point and she has played there many times. The other two are just learning about the game.
“They’re very excited about playing golf and very excited about being on the team,” Nielsen said. “They could have played on other sports teams but they chose to do this.”
The final newcomer is senior Mathilde Grube, a foreign exchange student from Belgium. She was an avid golfer during her childhood, but is getting back into the game after a three year absence.
But Nottingham feels that Grube doesn’t look like she’s been away from the game for long.
“She can hit the ball when she gets contact with it,” she said. “It can go. When I came out and saw her, I was impressed.”
They’ll need to be at their best to get past rival Holy Names this season. Bainbridge has defeated them in the regular season, but they have taken second to the Cougars at the last two Metro tournaments.
They return the 3A state champion in Kristin Tan and several other golfers. Nielsen said they also have a talented incoming freshman as well.
Nottingham said they’re gunning to take Holy Names out of the top spot.
“I want to beat them at Metros,” she said. “We’ve beaten them every year since my freshman year. But for some reason we can’t beat them at tournament time.”
Nottingham said the goal is also there to return to state and finish higher than fourth.
“We have really set competition but I think we can improve,” she said.
Nielsen feels they can make it back as well.
“They didn’t play their best at state,” he said. “But I’d be satisfied to just get another trophy.”
Bainbridge plays Seattle Prep at 3 p.m. Monday.
2008 girls golf
● A young, but talented girls’ team gets ready to possibly run the table again for a third straight season while shooting to unseat rival Holy Names at tourney time.
Monday, Sept. 8 - vs. Seattle Prep, 3 p.m.*
Monday, Sept. 15 - at Franklin at Jefferson Park GC (Seattle), 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 16 - vs. Nathan Hale, 3 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 22 - at Ingraham at West Seattle GC, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 23 - vs. Lakeside, 3 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 29 - at West Seattle, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 30 - vs. Holy Names, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 7 - vs. Eastside Catholic, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 8 - vs. Blanchet, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 14 - First round, Metro League Championship at Jefferson Park GC, 10 a.m.
Thursday, Oct. 16 - Final round, Metro League Championship at Jefferson Park GC, 10 a.m.
*all home matches are at Wing Point GC.