Manto may not have repeated as Valley Oak League MVP, but she did earn another berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships.
The Sierra senior put together back-to-back solid rounds over the span of six days starting last Tuesday, Oct. 19 in Lodi. She was a co-runner-up with East Union’s Ashley Trinidad in the VOL Championships with a 6-over-par 78 at Micke Grove Golf Links, trailing Tori Blank (76) of Oakdale. Blank wound up as league MVP, while Manto earned a spot on the All-VOL team. Manto finished as the league’s top player two years ago.
“Mikaella has had a great season so far and is continuing to improve her game,” Sierra coach Justin Crowe said. “Her goal this year was to win VOL MVP, which is determined by the low round in one of the regular-season VOL tournaments and the VOL Championship and she was only two strokes short of doing that. The other goal was to finish as high as possible as an individual at the Division III tournament so she could move on to Masters, which she did.”
Manto and the Timberwolves did enough to squeak into the SJS Division III Tournament as a team. The divisional tourney took place this past Monday at Paradise Valley Golf Course in Fairfield. There, Manto turned in one of her best efforts of the season with a 2-over 74. She is one of just two representatives of the VOL to make Masters, as she’ll be joined by Oakdale’s Kaylie Parola.
Brittney Barrington of East Union and Blank came up short in a sudden-death playoff for the final individual qualifying spot. Only the top two teams (Christian Brothers, Rodriguez) and six individuals not part of qualifying teams advance out of Division III.
The Masters Championships is next Monday at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton. From there, the SJS will send its top three team players and four individuals to the NorCal tournament on Nov. 8 at Berkeley Country Club.
“With the level of talent that will be there next week it will be tough to earn a spot in the NorCal tournament, but that is the next goal,” Crowe said. “It just takes one good round and she has the skill and confidence to make it happen.”