The Turlock High girls golf team cannot repeat last year’s unprecedented success.
That said, the Bulldogs aren’t exactly giving up the crown easily.
“I’ve got a plan,” said coach Mary Krupka, who wouldn’t clarify, though it’s safe to say that her plan involves gradual improvement over the second half of the season.
Turlock, the Central California Conference champion 11 of the last 12 years, won the Sac-Joaquin Division I-South title last year and went on to place third at the Section Masters. That earned the Bulldogs their first team berth at NorCals.
Sarah Garcia and Bergen Benedict have continued their golf careers at Cal State, San Marcos, leaving Turlock with senior Brooke Vierra and sophomore Preethi Singh. Improving juniors Elena Machado and Allie Malmberg will give the Bulldogs a chance.
Buhach Colony announced its challenge to Turlock’s dominance, however, with a close dual win over the Bulldogs earlier this month at Rancho del Rey. The Thunder’s Sabrina Thao, Tianna Lee and teammates have the talent to end Turlock’s reign.
Pitman, behind two-time reigning CCC MVP Taylor Beckwith, was in third place going into Thursday’s league mid-season tournament. The event was switched to Rancho due to ongoing maintenance at Turlock Country Club.
Here is the rest of the Stanislaus District outlook midway through the season:
MMC – Enochs’ winning streak in the Modesto Metro Conference, dating back to 2012, reached 36 matches this week. Suffice to say the Eagles (7-0) are rolling toward a third consecutive league title.
Senior Alyse Padilla opened MMC play with a 37 against Grace Davis at Creekside to kick-start Enochs. She and junior Mbeneka Maithya, who has shot as low as 39, give Enochs a 1-2 punch. Angela Pierce, Ciarra Cytanovich and Brittneigh Redfern fill out the MMC’s best top-to-bottom lineup.
“We’ve been blessed with girls who know how to play golf,” Enochs coach Matt Doyle said. “I’m fortunate to have a team with depth.”
VOL – East Union senior Brooke Riley, The Bee’s three-time Golfer of the Year, again is averaging about 2 under par as the Lancers have positioned themselves for a ninth Valley Oak League title in the last 10 years. Riley has signed a scholarship to attend Northwestern, which is currently ranked 13th in the nation.
The Wildcats came calling after Riley’s impressive 2014 postseason: Co-medalist at Section Masters (70), a tie for third at NorCals (71) and a tie for third at State (73).
“Her scores don’t show it, but she has improved,” EU coach Dennis Wells said. “She handles herself and her game better. I think she is improving every day.”
WAC – El Capitan showed why it was unbeaten to date in the Western Athletic Conference by dominating the league’s mid-season tournament at Diablo Grande. The Gauchos, led by junior Salina Carbaugh and senior Marcelina Mariano, beat nearest pursuer Livingston by 27 strokes. Ceres, the defending WAC champion, was third.
Central Valley senior Janita Vongphoumy, the reigning league MVP, has raised her game. The transfer from Rhode Island, the first Central Valley player to advance to Section Masters, was medalist at Diablo Grande with a 75. Los Banos sophomore Morgan Pimentel (80) placed second.
36 Enochs’ winning streak in the Modesto Metro Conference
VFL – The Valley Foothill League, a collection of schools from the Trans-Valley, Southern and Mother Lode leagues, is divided into North and South divisions.
In the South, Hilmar has run the table the last two seasons and has four titles in the last five years. Orestimba defeated Hilmar for the first time since the Warriors began girls golf 10 years ago, however, and will challenge. Orestimba is paced by Switzerland foreign exchange student Joy Truniger and Gigi Quizon. Hilmar returns two-time VFL-South MVP Makena Azevedo.
The North leader so far is Ripon, which parlayed depth into wins in its first five matches. One of the victories came at 5-1 Sonora and its solid junior Megan Popovich. The Indians edged Escalon and Bret Harte during the first half, so nothing is certain. All VFL teams will gather at Micke Grove on Monday for the mid-season tournament.