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Ilardi’s 76 leads Ripon to outright VFL title
Ripon Christian’s De Graaf makes 4th section tournament
The Ripon girls golf team — pictured from left: Myra Toledo, Gabbi Ilardi, Bianca Toledo, Kassidy Isham, Adriana DiGuilio, Tyla Branham — secured the outright Valley Foothill League North Division title on Monday.

LODI — Ripon put the finishing touches on its dominant run in the Valley Foothill League on Monday, securing the North Division championship at Micke Grove Golf Links.

Gabbi Ilardi’s sterling 4-over 76 effort led the way, and she was one of four Indians to place in the top five individually in the final VFL Tournament of the season. The team finished with a 358, while Bret Harte (416) and Escalon (427) rounded out the top three in the nine-team field.

There was a bit more drama in the South Division, as Hughson scored a 411 and beat Hilmar by a stroke to secure its outright claim of the title. Ripon Christian finished in fourth place but qualified three individuals to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament at Auburn Valley Golf Club next Monday, Oct. 21. 

The top four teams in the VFL North and top three from the South advance along with six individuals from each division who are not part of qualifying teams.

For Ripon, its the second outright crown under coach Eric Dambrosio, who has led the team to four league titles in the last five years. 

“I’m very proud of the girls and all the hard work they put into the team,” Dambrosio said. “They never complain, they just work hard. It’s a pleasure to coach this team.”

With four key returning players, the addition of Ilardi turned Ripon into heavy favorites this season. The tournament medalist was followed by teammates Bianca Toledo (second, 86), Kassidy Isham (fourth, 98) and Myra Toledo (fourth, 98). 

Bret Harte’s Emma Canepa broke up the quartet on the leaderboard, finishing third with a 91. 

Madi De Graaf will represent Ripon Christian in the SJS divisional for a fourth straight year. She finished as the VFL South runner-up Monday with an 88, two shy of Hilmar’s Olivia Machado.

Fellow Knights joining De Graaf next week are Janine Prins (126) and Caitlin Van Gorkum (129).