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Huron wins district, Edison third as both return to state

Butch Wagner • May 12, 2015 at 5:36 PM

While the girls were forced to grind it out on the course, their coaches were playing a different game of grinding Tuesday in the Division II girls district golf championship on the Sycamore Springs layout.

When all of the grinding finally came to a halt at approximately 4:10 p.m., two Sandusky Bay Conference teams were celebrating a three-peat.

Huron and Edison are headed back to Columbus next weekend for their third straight appearances in the state tournament on Ohio State's Gray course.

Both Frank Gioffre (Huron) and Lisa Kelble (Edison) have veteran groups, led by three seniors each.

The Tigers captured their first district title with a 348 total in the 12-school field in which the top three qualify for the state. They finished with a 371 total in 2008 and last year placed third in the tightly-bunched field with a 369 mark.

Meanwhile, the Chargers earned the last state berth with a 372 count on the heels of a first-place performance in 2008 (369) and a runner-up effort a year ago at 368.

In between, Lima Shawnee posted a 357 for the remaining qualifying position. Shawnee was the district winner in 2009 at 366.

Two more SBC schools were also in the event. Perkins placed seventh at 386 and Margaretta ranked 11th at 413.

Gioffre and Kelble were relieved when the official results were posted.

"Our top goal right from the start was to get back to the state," Gioffre said. "I know the girls may be a little disappointed in their scores, but we did it and I'm really happy for them, especially our three seniors, (Laura Volz, Ashley Franks and Shannon Allen)."

Volz tied for medal honors for the day with 39-39--78, while Allen carded 40-46--86 and Franks 44-43--87. Freshman Rafaella Gioffre had 48-49--97 and Hanna Critelli contributed 52-46--98. Last year, Volz fired an 82, Franks 88 and Critelli 101, while Volz had 92 and Franks 85 in the 2008 district.

"I left some shots out there today but I'm really happy that we won the district, and also because we can go back again," said Volz, who earned all-Ohio honors a year ago in the state with a solid 36-hole performance.

"I was going along well until the seventh hole when I took an eight, but I didn't have a three-putt," said Franks.

"I played well on the front nine (40) and kept it going until the last there holes when I lost it," said Allen.

"We have the experience and the senior leadership and I'm looking forward to next week," Gioffre said.

For Edison, the scores were bunched together.

Junior Ana Fischer was low with 38-53--91 and the three seniors followed closely behind. Tori Riddle submitted 46-47--93, Stephanie Mollohan 49-45--94 and Megan Reber 44-50--94. Sophomore Rachel Huntley added 51-46--97.

A year ago, Fischer fashioned an 89, Mollohan 90, Riddle 95 and Reber 96.

"The toughest thing about this is the long wait," Kelbie said. "I was certainly grinding it out in my head hoping we could come through and the girls did that. I knew it would be close and St. Paul was right there with us, but our girls just continued to grind it out on the course while I was grinding it out here (by the scoring table).

"This is something our girls have been talking about all year and to be able to get to the state three years in a row is something our seniors can be proud of."

For Perkins, sophomore Maddy Mullins had the best round at 51-41--92. Classmate Maddie Torres added 54-42--96 along with senior Laura Beebe who managed 49-47--96. Amanda Hartnett tallied 50-52--102 and Kaleigh Rapp added 55-53--108.

"All we had to do was to play our game," Perkins coach Alice James said. "The girls have to start believing in themselves.

"I'm disappointed because no teams shot the lights out today and all we had to do is play the way we have, but that didn't happen. Maddie Torres improved by 12 strokes on her second nine today, and that's a good sign. She could have given up but she stuck with it. We just needed some consistency."

Margaretta's top scorer was sophomore Kendra Gast in the No. 5 slot. She fired 48-46--94. Tatum Tucker produced 49-52--101, Kate Muratore 53-52--105, Rian Spicer 49-64--113 and Grace Sessler 58-57--15.

"I thought we would play better than we did today. Kendra's score is very good," Margaretta coach Ryan Spicer said.

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