There were two givens heading into the SEC Girls Golf Championship on Monday at Giant Oak GC. One was that Pioneer and Skyline would be battling it out for the top two spots among the 14 SEC teams. The other given was that it would be close at the top of the scorecard.
Skyline delivered its best team scores for 18 holes in program history so they brought their A game. But the challenge only brought out the best from the Pioneers who carded a team score of 322 to finish first overall, just five strokes better than the Eagles.
Saline was a distant third with a 391. Huron was fourth (397) followed by Dexter (404), Lincoln (421), Bedford (426) and Monroe (453).
For the first time ever, Skyline was 13-0 in matches leading up to the tournament, beating Pioneer in a nine-hole match (worth two points) earlier in the season. Pioneer’s tournament win was worth four points so they were declared the overall champions.
Alex Ellender led the Pioneers. Only a sophomore, Ellender fired a 76 to top the Pioneer scorecard. Junior Alysa Zhu carded an 80, senior Hayley Marchand shot an 81, junior Mackenzie Rooney shot an 85, senior Kara Muckstadt fired an 88 and senior Camille Sowton shot a 91.
Marchand, Rooney, Zhu, Muckstadt and Ellender were all All-Conference for the Pioneers.
Skyline’s previous best team score for 18 holes was set Aug. 20 at Hartland Glen with score of 342 when they broke a longstanding record.
Adie Maki had the best score of the day with an amazing 68. The senior continues her outstanding final season and seems poised to close it out in style. Maki earned All-Conference honors for the Eagles.
Junior Helen Kucinski shot an 83, senior Riya Patchava fired an 85, sophomore Reva Patchava carded a 91, senior Lucy Stoy shot a 92 and senior Lia Tomilo had a 99 for the Eagles.
Senior Lydia Miteza led Huron with a 91. The rest of the River Rats scorecard featured freshman Emmi Conrad (96), junior Allison Mi (98), junior Aico Miao (112), senior Sasha Lee (116) and junior Jasmyn Harris (118).
The top five Dreadnaughts were all seniors. Dexter was led by Olivia Naylor who carded a 92. The rest of the scorecard for the Dreads featured Hannah Finch (102), Clare McCormick (104), Camryn Chase (106), Gaby Matos (109) and Sophia Steinert (122).
Regionals are Oct. 6 at Washtenaw Golf Club in Ypsilanti.