After nearly two months of competing against each other in Pacific League matches, the Crescenta Valley High and La Cañada girls’ golf teams are ready to take their talent to the next level — the playoffs.
The lineups presented by Falcons and Spartans in each match showed plenty of promise. Crescenta Valley finished tied for first in league with Arcadia and La Cañada took third.
The Falcons and Spartans will next participate in the CIF Southern Section Central Team Divisional, which will be held at 8 a.m. Monday at Los Serranos Country Club’s North Course in Chino Hills.
The top three teams from the league punched their ticket to the postseason. Crescenta Valley, La Cañada and Arcadia will be joined by teams from the Academy, Sierra, Citrus Belt, Golden, Montview, Ocean and Orange leagues. The top four teams from Monday’s round will advance to the team final, which will be held Oct. 29 at The Legends Golf Course in Temecula.
Crescenta Valley Coach Lee Pope said the Falcons will look to draw off last season’s surprising sixth-place finish at the event at Jurupa Hills Country Club in Riverside.
“We can look back at what we did last year to help us,” said Pope, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year. “We surprised a lot of people last year and, because of that, we like our chances to move on.
“Going into this tournament, anything can happen. We have been shooting around 200 the whole year. If we can continue to stay steady, then we feel like we have a great chance.”
The Falcons are led by junior Jocelyn Chia, who comes into the event fresh off winning her second straight individual league championship.
Chia, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Golfer of the Year, said the Falcons will look to continue making strides.
“I think we are real excited about going back to CIF,” said Chia, who bested Burbank’s Irene Maemura by six strokes to win the league title on Wednesday at Brookside Golf Course No. 1 in Pasadena and was one of seven athletes from the Pacific League to also qualify for the CIF Southern Section Individual Regional Tournament on Thursday at River Ridge Golf Course in Oxnard. “We have gotten better each match, and we have a good opportunity to do something.”
In addition to Chia, Crescenta Valley will likely feature a lineup that will include Audrey Chung, Andrea Han, Ester Yee, Alice Yoon and Gina Chung.
La Cañada, under coach Rich Wheeler, will make its first trip to the playoffs as a member of the Pacific League. The Spartans bested San Marino on the final day of the season to grab the third and final playoff berth.
La Cañada, which began its program in 2010 as a freelance team, will make its second postseason appearance. It qualified in 2010, finishing tied for 14th at the CIF Southern Section Northern Division at Soule Park Golf Club in Ojai.
Wheeler said the Spartans will look to make their mark at the tournament.
“We took third in league, so now we will try to go as far as we possibly can,” said Wheeler, a former All-Area Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year. “We are excited to be going, and it will be kind of neat to see how we do.
“I think we are peaking at the right time.”
The Spartans’ lineup will probably consist of Melissa Leo, a reigning All-Area pick who also qualified for the individual tournament, Jennifer Kim, May Lo, Keilee Bessho, Megan Lee and Madelyn Merchant.