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Improvements on day two buoy MVHS girls golf team
Playing in the spotlight of the state tournament makes an ordinary 18-hole round much more than that. The Mounds View High School girls golf team got a taste of what that’s like but bounced back on the second day to end the season on a high note.
In the state tournament for the first time in three years, the Mustangs struggled on day one at the Class AAA event at Bunker Hills Golf Course on June 10 but had a better day on June 11.
“You can be disappointed and maybe yesterday I felt a little bit bad, but today we came back and showed ourselves to be a good quality team,” said Mounds View head coach Paul Bailey.
Mounds View put up a 375 on day one and trailed seventh-place Cretin-Derham Hall by 19 shots. Being able to make up that deficit and move out of last place was a tall order so the Mustangs set a simpler goal for the second round.
On day two, Mounds View lowered its score by 16 shots to 359.
“We were all just trying to improve on our scores,” said sophomore Kristen Cash. “The pressure’s off. The nerves aren’t as bad the second day.”
Cash was a good example of that. She pared nine strokes off her day-one score, going from an 87 to a 78.
“She was outstanding today,” Bailey said.
Sophomore Lauren Ganske had the team’s largest turnaround by shooting 10 strokes lower on day two. She went from 115 to 105. Junior Kendall Monson dropped two shots on day two.
Senior Kylie Monson also was two shots better and senior Ellie Sachse improved by eight strokes. Senior Felicia Kienitz went up three shots on day two.
For the returning players, gaining state-tournament experience can only help come next spring.
“By and large I think it was a great learning experience for our girls,” Bailey said. “A great opportunity for them to play in a tournament like this with such great players on a great course.”
Cash finished in a three-way tie for 28th place. Her second-round score was better than 10 of the girls who finished ahead of her in the final standings.
“For Cash, it’s going to be a great learning experience for her and she’s got a couple more years to come here and contend,” Bailey said.
Cash and Kienitz were the two members of the team with state-tournament experience. Cash played in the state girls hockey tournament back in February but said the golf tournament is a completely different animal.
“Hockey’s totally different,” Cash said. “Golf’s like an individual sport. In hockey, you have the team to help you.”
Having played in the state golf tournament once before was a bit helpful but Kienitz said it’s still a nerve-wracking experience.
“It’s a lot more pressure,” Kienitz said. “There are people watching you. There are cameras around. It’s intense but it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great experience.”
She played in the state tournament in 2011, the last time Mounds View had won a section team title before this year.
Despite the rough first round, Bailey said his players should hold their heads up.
“Yesterday we left a lot on the course but today we played pretty well,” Bailey said. “I think we walk away feeling good about ourselves.”
Wayzata claimed the Class AAA team title with little trouble. The Trojans’ two-day team score of 622 put them 19 strokes ahead of runner-up Alexandria.
The chase for the individual title came down to two players and New Prague’s Kenzie Neisen won by one stroke over Wayzata’s Sarah Burnham. The two shared the state crown last year.
Alexandria’s Amanda Bigger was third but finished 13 shots off the lead.
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.
Class AAA girls golf state tournament
1 — Wayzata 622
2 — Alexandria 641
3 — Edina 650
4 — Lakeville North 681
5 — Andover 686
6 — Rosemount 696
7 — Cretin-Derham Hall 705
8 — Mounds View 734
Mounds View individual results
Kristen Cash — 165 (87-78)
Kylie Monson — 186 (94-92)
Ellie Sachse — 186 (97-89)
Felicia Kienitz — 197 (97-100)
Kendall Monson — 208 (105-103)
Lauren Ganske — 220 (115-105)