The Journal Gazette
Sunday, August 04, 2019 1:00 am

Girls Golf preview

5 To Watch

ELIZABETH WYMAN | For The Journal Gazette

With practices just starting up, contests start Monday across the state for the 2019 girls golf season. Last season, Homestead once again flexed its muscles as the team to beat in the area, but Angola won its first sectional championship in program history, and Bishop Luers' Madeleine Pape made a strong run in the state finals.

Here's a glance at who and what to watch:

5 teams

Homestead: The Spartans had maybe their most talented team a year ago. Jeff Jehl's team shot a two-day score of 634 to take fourth in state. It was a place better than their fifth spot in 2017, and the Spartans seem to be still be on the upward trend. They lost just one senior and return key underclassmen.

Angola: With a team score of 343, the Hornets won Angola's first girl's golf sectional ever on their home course last fall. It's a step in the right direction for Angola, and Gabby Kelly is back for her senior year.

Leo: The Lions didn't make it out of the tough Angola sectional, but they return seniors Anna Munson and Isabelle Baldwin. The Lions started two freshmen, Sydney Holub and Miranda Freeman, in their top 5 last season, so they should be well-versed this year.

Huntington North: The Vikings won the Huntington North sectional with a score of 345. It was their second consecutive sectional win. They lost Laura Ham and Amara Eckert to graduation. The two had been staples for the Vikings throughout high school.

Bishop Dwenger: After making the state finals in 2016 and 2017, the Saints failed to make it out of the competitive East Noble regional. They graduated one senior, and the rebuilding year of 2018 could do them wonders in the present.

5 players

Madi Dabagia, Homestead: As a freshman, Dabagia helped the Spartans to a fourth-place finish at state. She tied for fourth with a 6-over 150. During the season, she tied the Homestead girls 18-hole record with a 3-under 69 at Chestnut Hills. She also made All-State last season. Dabagia's sister, Morgan, will be a senior on the team and has been a consistent player during her high school season.

Madeleine Pape, Bishop Luers: As a junior, Pape finished off an incredible season with a 5-over 73 to finish second in the state finals. She was named to the All-State team.

Simone Senk, Homestead: While Madi Dabagia got much of the spotlight as the star rookie on the team, Senk never shied away from the big moments. As a freshman, Senk tied for 24th at state – behind just Dabagia and Pape for best area score.

Molly Brehm, Wayne: Last season, Brehm shot an 80 to advance to the East Noble regional as an individual.

Ally Stuckey, DeKalb: Stuckey missed out on the state finals a season ago after making it as a sophomore, but the senior did finish second in the Angola sectional with an 81.

5 storylines

Warsaw brains: Former players Miriam Hagg and Madelyn Ray made the Indiana Girls Academic All-State team. Only 15 girls made the list. Hagg and Ray were seniors last year.

Pace of play: The initiative to speed up the pace of play is still a focus for the IHSAA. Last spring, the Maximum Score rule came into play, which aims to improve pace of play and elimination of disqualification for certain infractions.

Women's City Golf Tournament: Senk tied for third with teammate Morgan Dabagia in the City Tournament. She was named junior champion. The City Tournament was filled with current and former area high school players.

State finals: The IHSAA state finals will be played Oct. 4-5 at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.

Defending champion: Shooting a team score of 29-over 605, Evansville North took the state title in 2018.

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