Playing underneath a 75-degree heat with some surprise winds blowing toward their backs, Lompoc girls golf started the fall sports season with a 327-359 victory over Pioneer Valley at La Purisima Golf Course on Tuesday.
The tranquil day at the course proved to have an effect on the Panther golfers, as head coach Marcus Guzman said that his young team isn’t used to walking through so many hills.
“The course is definitely hilly, but we have some hills at Black Lake. The hills may have played a role here, though,” Guzman said.
He added that the breeze was an additional factor in the nine-hole contest to kick off the 2017-18 girls golf season.
“The wind was definitely a factor today, especially considering the girls played on a much longer course compared to Black Lake. There were some struggles there, but they played well overall,” Guzman said.
The host Lompoc team is not only used to the weather and course elements, but also ended the day with three golfers scoring below 70. Kendal Martin was the medalist at 52. Marina Zellers shot a 64 while Sage Christianson finished with a 68 score.
Braves head coach Tom Garrard, however, said he saw some of his better golfers endure some early season struggles in Mission Hills.
“From what I saw, some of the girls that I was hoping to see play well are struggling a little bit, and some of the girls I thought wouldn’t play well are actually doing well,” Garrard said. “But they’re doing all right considering it is their first match.”
One of the challenges both golf teams had to face was shooting the ball over the pond at hole No. 3. Each player took two practice swings before feeling comfortable about sending the ball flying above the water.
Garrard said he has an experienced unit this fall — which makes this Braves team easy to coach on his end.
“So far this year, it’s been a little easier (to coach) because we have so many returners,” Garrard said. “The ones who are new are picking up on it pretty quick and are easier to coach. So I haven’t spent much time stressing about it (experience).”
There is one returning golfer, though, who Garrard said is still on the mend: Senior Danielle Morgan, who wore a knee brace over her right knee and showed up to La Purisima to support her team.
“We don’t know yet. Sept. 14 is our first league tournament. We’re hoping she’s back by then. There’s no timetable,” Garrard said.
Outside of the Braves’ top scoring trio on the day, Ruby Gonzalez shot a 71 while Hannah Larsh finished the day by shooting a 72.
Coryn Nodal led the Panthers by shooting a 71. Five Panthers finished the day by reaching 72: Yadira Barrera, Evelyn Cuevas, Britney Cuellor, Kaeressa Gauna and Crystal Mendoza.
Lompoc will head to Chalk Mountain to take on Atascadero on Thursday at 2 p.m. The Panthers will have Thursday off.
Righetti 268, Cabrillo 283
The Warriors defeated the Conquistadores at The Mission Club in Vandenberg Village in the season opener for both teams.
Medalist Sarah Fouratt led Righetti to the win with a 41 over the nine holes. Claire Alford also broke 50, with a 49, for the Warriors. Teammates following were Dominique Garcia with a 57, Cambria Flaa with a 60, and Alissa Escobedo and Claudia Smith, both with a 61.
Escobedo's and Smith's scores were averaged in to the team total.
Ashlyn Wiswall led Cabrillo with a 47. Thea Reagan came in at 54, Alexa McCune shot a 59, Britney McCune carded a 61, and Kylie Moldt and Kelsey Bruner, whose scores were averaged in to the team total, both shot a 62.
San Luis Obispo 310, Nipomo 398
Nipomo fell to San Luis Obispo in a non-league match in its season opener Monday afternoon at Monarch Dunes.
SLO’s Isabel Carpenter earned medalist honors, shooting a 44 in the nine-hole match.
Brooke Panzardi’s 53 paced the Nipomo team.
She was followed by Beyonce Diaz (67), Kara Mitchell (68), Lily Brummitt (68) and Emily Relyea (70).
Nipomo continues its preseason with another non-league match Thursday when the Titans host Paso Robles at Monarch Dunes.
Boys water polo
Santa Ynez 18, San Luis Obispo 7
The Pirates opened their season by rolling to a win at home.
Santa Ynez led 6-2 after the first quarter and 11-3 at halftime.
Ten Pirates scored, and Connor Hiatt racked up five goals. Santa Ynez goalkeeper Tristan Durbiano had eight saves and made five steals.
Allen Clarke, Keller Haws and Kyle O'Neill all scored twice for Santa Ynez.