October 22, 2014

Elyria
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Golf: Avon tops Avon Lake by a single stroke in battle of unbeatens

AVON — There wasn’t much on the line for the Avon and Avon Lake girls golf teams when they squared off in a dual match Monday on a rain-soaked and windy Bob-O-Link Golf Course.

Well, nothing but bragging rights and the possibility of a slight mental edge in the upcoming Division I sectional.

Yeah, that’s all.

The winner: Avon, 189-190. What else would you expect from the dominant programs in Lorain County the last five or so years?

“I knew it would be close,” Avon coach Frank DeSmit said after his Eagles improved to 10-0 in dual matches. The Shoregals lost their first dual match of the year, falling to 16-1.

The Eagles, who won the West Shore Conference championship for the fourth straight year last Thursday, were 11 strokes behind after the No. 1 and No. 2 players finished. But the Eagles caught up when their third and fourth players won by 11 to leave the match tied at 190.

But in high school golf, six golfers play and only the four lowest scores are counted.

That’s where the one-point difference came in. Avon’s No. 5 player, Anna Schatschneider, shot a 52 to move into the top four.

Kaitlin Neumann led the Eagles with a 41, while Sarah Warnkin had 44 and Hannah Strack another 52.

Avon Lake sophomore Niki Schroeder took individual honors with a 39, while Corynn Krieg shot 43, Bridget McCoy 51 and Taylor Browns 57.

“I didn’t feel much stress,” Schroeder, who finished 10th in the state last year, said of the match. “My irons were my strong point today. I was pretty consistent.”

On her final hole of the day — the White Course’s first because she started the round on No. 2 — she dropped her 54-degree wedge shot from 40 yards away to within 6 feet of the pin to set up her lone birdie of the day.

“My putting wasn’t very good today,” said Schroeder, who came in averaging 36 for nine holes. “I had no long putts.”

Neumann, who just missed making state last year, was happy with the team win, but not so thrilled with her own play.

“I was a little disappointed in my round today,” she said. “Hitting greens was the main problem and also the wind was bothersome.”

Her putting, though, wasn’t a worry. She needed just 14 putts, holing 25-footers on the seventh and ninth holes.

She, too, shrugged off any mention of pressure.

“I wasn’t too nervous,” she said. “It was just another match.”

DeSmit likes the fact his team is closing the season with some tough matches. The Eagles play a strong St. Joseph team today in another dual, this time at Mallard Creek.

“For us, this is a good measuring stick going into the sectional next week,” he said. “Also, we haven’t seen any really good teams this season so far, out of the conference.”

Avon Lake coach Kevin Fitch is thinking along the same lines.

“This is a great time of the year to play this kind of tough match,” he said. “We got a competitive match. The scores weren’t that great because of the standing water on the course after some big weekend rains, plus the wind was really gusting. But conditions were the same for both teams.”

The Avon junior varsity also won, 211 to 229.

Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.