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Ripon wins tourney for playoff berth
Ripon Highs girls golf team won the Valley Foothill League North Division Tournament at Micke Grove Golf Links on Monday. Pictured are, from left: Claire Wever, Hailey Rae Rose, Alex Gonzales, Alyssa Demara, Erin Wever, Sienna Starck and coach Eric Dambrosio. - photo by Photo Contributed

Needing to beat Bret Harte in the Valley Foothill League finale to reach the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament, Ripon High’s girls golf team did one better Monday at Lodi’s Micke Grove Golf Links.

The Indians continued their late-season charge by winning the VFL North Division Tournament, beating overall season champion Escalon, 415-426. Bret Harte was third with a 446.

Ripon Christian placed fourth in the VFL South Tourney with a 502. Led by MVP Makena Azevedo, Hilmar secured the South crown with a 438.

It’s the second time in five days that Ripon edged Escalon by 11 strokes, doing so in the final regular-season dual match last Thursday at Escalon Golf Course.

Ripon ace Sienna Starck finished 19-over-par 91 for third place and shares co-MVP honors with runner-up Taylor Robinson (90) of Calaveras. Jaime Heryford was low medalist with an 89.

“We are peaking at the right time,” said Ripon coach Eric Dambrosio, whose team went 7-3 in duals. Escalon finished 9-1, and Bret Harte 8-2.

“I’m super proud of my girls. They practiced really hard all season and showed up ready to play today. They set personal and team goals and came close to meeting all of them.”

Alex Gonzales (106), Hailey-Rae Rose (107) and Erin Wever (111) accounted for the rest of the team score. Only four scores are counted in the VFL. Rose earned a spot on the all-league team.

The top two teams in each VFL division qualify for the SJS Division V event, which takes place next Monday, Oct. 21 back at Micke Grove. Six individuals not part of advancing teams move on.

Kaitlyn Groshong will be the lone Ripon Christian representative at divisionals.