Lauren Volz and her Huron teammates set lofty goals for the annual Division II state girls golf tournament.
Volz, fourth a year ago in the individual scoring at 155 (76-79), is among the leaders after the first day of the 36-hole test on The Ohio State University's Gray course after a five-over-par 75 Friday.
Meanwhile, the Tigers posted their lowest round in state tourney history at 343 and are tied with Lima Shawnee for second place in the 12-team field, but they are 22 strokes behind front-runner Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown.
Volz checked in with three birdies on the way to 37-38--75 over the par 35-35--70 layout.
Ashley Franks followed with 39-45--84 and Shannon Allen 43-46--89 as the seniors contributed heavily. Freshman Rafaella Gioffre carded 49-46--95 ad sophomore Hannah Critelli opened with 53, then came back strong on the back nine with 45 for a 98.
"Our goal is to win the state as a team and for me, I want to win it all," said Volz earlier in the week and the senior shotmaker has put herself in position to make a run in both categories.
Coach Frank Gioffre felt his team needed a 330 total Friday to stay in contention and it looked good until the last three schools reported their scores, and Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown is sitting on top.
Huron placed eighth in each of the last two years of competition, and posted 375-370 totals a year ago.
"We have some work to do (today) and are matched with (Hathaway Brown) in the final pairings, and that could help us," Gioffre said. Shawnee is the third player in each of the five groups (Players Nos. 1-5).
"We left some shots out there today, but the greens gave the girls some problems. They were fast and the windy conditions didn't help either, It was a challenging day but I'm still pleased overall with what the girls did," Gioffre said.
"The 343 isn't that far away from 330 and there is a long way to go before this is over. We have the experience in the three seniors and they had some good numbers overall but I'm sure they will say they also gave some shots away," Gioffre said.
"They had to be non-agressive while putting on some of the holes, but it was the same for everyone. I think we can bring our scores downs and it's not over yet. All we can do is play the best golf possible," Gioffre said.
"Lauren playing steady, hit a lot of greens in regulation and made a lot of pars. She's in good position to be right at the top when its all over," Gioffre added.
Volz credits her five iron as one reason for another strong showing.
"I've never been able to hit my five iron shots, but today it was the best-ever for me, but I couldn't seem to make any putts although I had three birdies," Volz said..
The SBC Player of the Year birdied Nos. 7, 8 and 11, and was very happy with the birdie on No. 11. "Last year I hit me tee shot into the sand and took three shots to get out so it was nice to get that birdie today," Volz said. "I made a 10-footer on that hole and a 15-footer on 7, which was my long putt for the day. I had a tap in birdie on the par-five 8th hole," Volz said.
"I have another day left and will do my best to help us win it all and I'll also give my best to take that individual title," said Volz, who trails four girls who advanced to the event in the individual category.
Morgan Ransom of Columbus academy leads with 37-34--71, one shot ahead of Michelle Schambs of Zane Trace who had 35-37--72. Bryin Fitzgerald is third at 37-36--73 and Sarah Kolodzik of Miami Valley School rank fourth at 38-36--74.
"I bogeyed the 18th hole when I started to count my strokes (total) while walking down the fairway for my second shot. I'll never do that again. I chunked the next shot and finished with a five," the first-team 2010 All-Ohio performer said.
Franks talked about her round.
"I played well the front nine, then had problems putting on the back side. I hope to play more consistently tomorrow."
Allen, playing in her second state tournament, said the speed of the greens caused her problems.
The rough is so thick and when you get in that its really tough to get out of, I'm just happy to be here and maybe I can come back and play better tomorrow. Its my last chance," Allen said.
Rafaella Gioffre said, "my putting was bad, but everything else was good, I had way to many putts."
Critelli, also a veteran, was disappointed with the way she started, but also happy wit the way she came back to improve by eight strokes on the back nine.
"I broke a100, and that's a lot better than last year," she said.