Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Homestead's Morgan Dabagia tees off on the first hole during Saturday's regional at Noble Hawk Golf Links in Kendallville. Dabagia shot an 82.
Sunday, September 24, 2017 1:00 am
East Noble Regional
Spartans keep cool to win regional title
AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette
KENDALLVILLE – The fifth-ranked Homestead girls golf team couldn't have been in a better position entering the season.
After a fifth-place finish at last year's state championships, the Spartans returned all five golfers and even more depth.
The team showed off its skill and depth Saturday by winning its second straight regional title at Noble Hawk Golf Links. Emma Schroeder's 3-under 67 earned her medalist honors and the team shot 296, tied for the second lowest regional team score in tournament history.
“(It's) is the best 18-hole score we've had this season,” Spartans coach Jeff Jehl said. “We broke 300 once at Foster Park earlier this year, but this is a much more difficult golf course and considering the stage was a little bigger today, the 296 is a really good number, and I'm so proud of the girls.
“It was hot, and it was a long day. I told the girls (Friday) in practice and they bought into it. The field's going to be out of it mentally because of the heat and we have to embrace it, love it and prepare for it. They were prepared for it today, they were patient and they were strong and it was a really good day for us.”
Makenna Hostetler shot a 75, Rylie Parker a 76 and Sydney Rybolt a 78.
“I was a little nervous coming off of the (sectional) win last week,” Schroeder said, “and I just told myself that I just needed to keep focusing on the next shot. So after I hit one shot, I just focused on the next.
“I had a good practice this week so I knew I had the potential to go low. I've played this course three times this year already, and shot close to par all three of those times, so I knew I was in good shape coming into (Saturday).”
No. 15 DeKalb turned in a score of 317 to finish second and advance to its first state championship as a team since 2010. Lexy Stuckey finished tied for third with a 73 followed by Sarah Williams (79), Ally Stuckey (82) and Bayley Stuckey (83).
“I really think that at Nos. 2, 3 and 4, we played some good golf today,” DeKalb coach Trent Stuckey said, “and measuring that against the other schools, you're really going to see what they difference was.
“Scores were pretty good, maybe a little better than I thought given the heat and conditions we were going to have. There's a few really difficult holes out here and you never know where you're going to get tripped up a little bit and that could be the difference between advancing and not.”
No. 13 Bishop Dwenger finished third as a team with a 326, paced by a 68 from Sarah Frazier followed by Brooke Kinder (80), Taylor Martin (82) and Nicole Hagen (96).
Madeleine Pape of Bishop Luers (75) and Angola's Gabby Kelly (78) advanced as individuals without a team.
“I was lucky to get the early tee time (9:16 a.m.) so I got braced from the really hot weather,” Pape said. “It feels really good (to be a state qualifier). I've worked really hard so it feels like all my hard work has paid off to this point.”
The IHSAA Girls Golf State Championships are Friday and Saturday at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.