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Lancers seek fifth straight section title

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Lancers seek fifth straight section title

East Union co-head coach Dennis Wells and Frances Telles, left, one of the Lancers' top returning players from the 2009 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship team, go over Wednesday's scrimm...

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED August 26, 2010 2:57 a.m.
After closing out last season with their fourth consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Championship, the East Union Lancers are opening the 2010 season with aspirations of bringing home the school’s fifth straight section crown.

East Union likely will not have the luxury of getting battle tested through its Valley Oak League schedule like in recent past, due to a significant drop off in the league’s talent pool. Getting to the postseason will be the team’s initial goal, but earning a postseason berth will only be the first check for the Lancers.

“Yeah, I do feel it,” senior Jillian Goulart said when asked about the pressure of repeating for a fifth time. “I feel like this year is kind of a rebuilding year with a lot of new players, so we need to try and play up to support the new players.”

Goulart and senior Frances Telles both finished all-VOL a season ago and will try and be a guiding force for what has blossomed into one of the most dominant programs in the section. The Lancers have parlayed the fortune of having the league’s best golfer (Krysta Clark, Jackie Ketner) the past two seasons but will now have to find an unsung hero to keep the streak alive.

“I like our chances at winning sections for a fifth time,” East Union head coach Dennis Wells said. “We have some talent out here, but we have a lot of work to do.

“If we work hard like we always do, I think we have a great chance.”

Goulart’s game has made tremendous strides over the summer months. She closed out last season as the No. 2 behind Ketner, but Telles’ play will reveal the most about the Lancers’ chances. If they are going to take care of the VOL and continue stellar play into the postseason, Telles will have to carry a great deal of the burden.

“My game has gotten a lot better since my freshman year,” Telles said. “I practiced all summer, five hours a day, so I’ve really been trying to work on my game. I just have to put it together in performance. When we’re in competition that’s when it gets a little scary.

“I do well in practice; it’s just a matter of putting it together in the match.”

Both Manteca and Sierra will be dealing with rebuilding programs, losing their top golfers to graduation. Sierra will miss the services of Ashley Kiesel, Alicia Kmiec and Amanda Orr, all of whom earned all-VOL honors a season ago. The Buffaloes’ struggles are inevitable, returning only one senior.

“We are rebuilding totally this year,” Manteca head coach Greg Conway said. “We have one returning senior. We have a lot of young players, and some seniors who are coming out for the first time.

“So we are definitely starting from scratch.”

The VOL schedule will get underway Tuesday, with East Union hosting Sonora, Manteca traveling to Oakdale, Sierra traveling to Tracy to take on Kimball and Sierra hosting Lathrop. All matches are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. tee times.
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