East Union captured its seventh straight Valley Oak League championship and eighth in nine years Tuesday at Micke Grove Golf Links in Lodi.
No shocker there.
The real drama involved three teams behind the Lancers, as they vied for the remaining two Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff berths.
While East Union finished well ahead of the pack with a 435, city rival Sierra (505) and Sonora (516) checked in with the second- and third-place scores to advance. Kimball (530) was the third horse in the playoff race but finished fourth. Manteca (545) rounded out the five-team competition. Lathrop, Oakdale and Weston Ranch did not have enough players to field teams.
The tournament’s top six individuals not on qualifying teams move on to the Division IV tourney, which takes place at Patterson’s Diablo Grande Golf & Country Club next Monday.
“I’m pretty happy with the score,” East Union co-head coach Dennis Wells said. “I’m especially happy for my girls who were the top four medalists. Now we have to get ready for Diablo Grande, which is a much tougher challenge. We are not exactly where we should be, but pretty close.”
Wells has high expectations for his team, which seeks its seventh section title in eight years and a berth to the CIF Northern California Regional Championships.
Sophomore Brooke Riley is again the league’s low medalist for the tournament and overall MVP, scoring an impressive 1-under 71. Seniors Jordan Vinson (86) and Brittany Ugalino (87) followed the leader, and junior Breanna Perkins (92) edged out Sierra’s Lexus Barnes for fourth place via tiebreaker (back nine score). Barnes joins EU’s four standouts on the all-VOL first team.
East Union had all five of its scorers stay in double digits, as Brittany Conjin added a 99. McKenna Doyle of Sierra was the last of the medalists, turning in an eighth-place score of 97.
Manteca was led by all-league first-teamer Katie Hankins, whose 96 was good for a medal. She and teammate Kaylie Grimes (99) are heading to the SJS Division IV Tournament as individuals. Kimball is sending three — Maya Crooms, Taylor Honnoll, Alyssa Lewis — and Dylanie Donahue will represent Oakdale.