Daily News October 23, 2012 OJAI -- As the bar gets set higher, the scores only continue to get lower for the Notre Dame girls' golf team.
After producing a 42-stroke victory last season at the Southern
Section Northern Divisional at Soule Park Golf Course, the Knights
didn't quite match that margin Monday, but Notre Dame lowered its
winning score by three strokes with five golfers shooting in the 70s to
repeat with a 373.
Notre Dame became the first local team to win back-to-back divisional
titles since Hart in 2008 and '09, leading a Mission League sweep of
the top two spots, with Harvard-Westlake having four golfers shoot 80 or
lower to produce a 403 one week after shooting 427 on the same course
in the first round of the league tournament.
Notre Dame secured its third consecutive berth in the section final
-- scheduled for Monday at The Legends Golf Course in Temecula -- and
fourth in program history. Harvard-Westlake is making its first
appearance since 2001 and the fifth overall, second only among area
schools behind Hart's six trips.
Arielle Valdez led Notre Dame with a 1-over 72, rebounding from a
double bogey on the 16th hole with a birdie-eagle finish on Nos. 17 and
"I knew this was for the team and (the last two holes) were make it
or break it. I just took one stroke at a time and each stroke as it was
and that really helped," said Valdez, who made a 20-foot putt on No. 17
and sank a 12-footer on No. 18.
"If it wasn't the team divisional, I probably wouldn't have done that. If it was
at the individuals (Thursday) that probably wouldn't have happened
after I doubled No. 16. But this was all about the team, so it's a
pretty good feeling."
Katelyn Reynolds shot 73, Sammy Winchester posted a 76 and Tina Nagai
carded a 77 for Notre Dame, which received a 75 from Janet Yeo and an
85 from Lauren Crittenden in their postseason debuts.
"I saw the scoreboard and I was so proud of everyone," Nagai said.
"We definitely have confidence in whoever we put out there that they're
going to do the best they can to help the team."
Notre Dame, which shot 394 at the league tournament Oct. 15, received
a 10-stroke improvement from Winchester, a nine-stroke improvement from
Valdez and a four-stroke improvement from Yeo from their last outings
at Soule Park.
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