LODI — Girls golf in the Valley Oak League is not what it once was.
At the same time, the VOL Tournament looked pretty familiar to the East Union Lancers, as they closed out a perfect league season with a team round of 429 to secure a sixth straight league title Monday at Lockeford Springs Golf Course.
East Union freshman Brooke Riley did not shun the spotlight in her first league championship tournament. She was low medalist with an 8-over 80 and finished a stroke ahead of teammate Jordan Vinson to punctuate her run as the VOL’s top golfer.
“I definitely felt like I left a lot of putts out there and my chipping wasn’t that good,” Riley said after the round. “But I can’t complain too much with an 80.”
Riley had all but cemented her name as the VOL’s Most Valuable Player with a season-long dominance in her rookie campaign.
Nothing seemed to faze the freshman on Monday. A long tee shot on Hole 7 left Riley on top of the green chipping down. A tough bounce left her a 12-footer that fell a revolution short and gave her a bogey. Moments later she was in the middle of the fairway of a par-5 that she would reach in three.
“I’m 100 percent focused during my round and when I practice on trying to be a better golfer,” Riley said. “I got pretty tired today though, but I practice hard because I really want to get into a top-notch college.”
Vinson’s round was as impressive on a course that was challenging, especially in the earlier holes of the shotgun-start tourney. Conditions early were definitely different in the latter part of the round, making all of the tourney’s top scores even more impressive.
“The most fun of it all was the girls go to play for themselves today,” East Union co-head coach Brian Goulart said of the final scoring format that decided the individual league standings. “There were huge challenges out there for Brittany Ugalino, Kimmy LaMar and Brianna Perkins, and they all posted very good scores.
“Kimmy came in one-spot out of the all-league shake-up and she shot in the 80s for the first time ever to earn first-team all league.”
LaMar produced the fourth lowest score with an 88. Senior Angelique Cardoza (90) and Brittany Ugalino (92) earned all-VOL first-team honors. Perkins (90) landed a spot on the second team.
Both Kimball and Sonora were tied in the league standings going in and both secured berths into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament, which takes place Monday at Elkhorn Golf Course in Stockton.
Area golfers advancing to divisional are: Sierra High’s Elia Vasquez (102) and Lexus Barnes (108), Manteca High’s Kaylie Grimes (104) and Weston Ranch’s Jonelle Mungcal (111).
“It’s her senior year and we are really proud of her,” Weston Ranch head coach Miguel Torrente said of Mungcal. “It’s huge because we are still trying to get a program started at Weston Ranch. She advanced last year and she could have shot better today, but the fact that she advanced is going to give her a chance to go even further.”