Blue Springs went through a little bit of heartbreak last Monday when it fell one stroke short of qualifying for sectionals as a team in the Class 2 District 7 girls golf tournament.
The Wildcats’ saving grace was that they had four players move on, making it possible for them to put together a team score at the Class 2 Sectional 4 tournament Monday.
Once again, Blue Springs fell just four strokes short of qualifying as a team for state when it finished tied for third with a team score of 369 Monday at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex’s Posse course.
That was just four strokes back from second place Lee’s Summit West (365), whom the Wildcats conquered in the Suburban Big Seven Tournament two weeks ago. Notre Dame Sion advanced by finishing first with a 336.
While there was some disappointment from No. 1 golfer Jordan Marshall and the rest of the Wildcats, coach Jill Courter was pleased that her team was able to qualify three players for the Missouri State High School Girls Golf Championships next Monday and Tuesday at Sedalia Country Club.
“It’s like kissing your sister,” Blue Springs No. 2 golfer Sierra Hueston said of making it as an individual but not qualifying as a team.
The qualifiers were Heuston, who finished fifth overall with an 81; Lauren Muller, who was tied for sixth with an 86; and Marshall, who was tied for 13th with a 91.
“We liked our chances on paper,” Courter said. “We are a little disappointed that we didn’t get it done. But it’s good having three individuals qualify.
“Sierra has been our most consistent player this year and has brought down her average significantly from last year. Lauren shot around her average today, so that’s awesome, especially on this course in this wind.”
Heuston and Muller, making their second and third trips to state, respectively, were satisfied with their scores.
“I think I could have worked on putting and could have done that before. The greens were really fast,” Heuston said. “But I was pretty pleased with my score.”
Marshall, who is making her fourth trip to state, was not so pleased about her score.
“This was my worst round of golf this year,” Marshall said. “But that’s OK because I made it through. I can’t really blame the course for why I played bad. I just want to play well at state. That’s all I want. ”
Fort Osage’s Gabby Vaoifi will be the other local player going to state as she finished with a 91 to make the state cut by one stroke.
Vaoifi, who shot a 83 last week at districts, like Marshall, was disappointed in her score. In fact, she was one of the first golfers to finish and didn’t think her score would hold up. However, when she started seeing more and more higher scores coming in, she started to feel a sense of relief.
The weather at Paradise Pointe was a factor as 25-30 mph winds were consistently manipulating the direction of shots on Tuesday. It made things all the more challenging for everyone.
“It’s windy up here normally and when you add 25 miles per hour gust, it makes it tough on a lot of different holes,” Fort Osage coach Josh Wilson said. “Gabby was worried with her score and I had to explain to her, ‘No, the conditions are much tougher this week.’ She was able to respond and got a birdie on No. 2, which got her refocused.”
Vaoifi said she wasn’t pleased with her score but is happy to be making her first trip to state.
“There were a couple of holes I wasn’t happy with,” Vaoifi said. “There were a lot of holes where you would hit it one way and the wind would push it the other way. I’m a little nervous and excited at the same time (about going to state).”
Other local players to compete at sectionals were Blue Springs South’s Ayden Sackewitz (25th, 96); Lee’s Summit North’s Ashlee Collins (38th, 107) and Micarla Dickerson (48th, 121); Truman’s Andrea Zorich (46th, 114); Blue Springs’ Alyna Thibault (41st, 111) and Grain Valley’s Taylor Hileman (40th, 110).