Independence finished second to Laurel at the Division II Sable Creek District Tournament and will return to the state championships for the third time in the last five seasons.
The Blue Devils finished with 374 strokes and will play in Columbus for the first time since winning the Division II state title in 2017. They finished as the state runners-up the year before.
“It was a great day,” Independence coach Karl Schuld said. “So many people have reached out. I don’t know how many texts I have received congratulating the girls. It’s just a testament as to how hard they’ve worked and the time and commitment they put into the program.”
Allie Ksiazka led the Blue Devils with an 83, which tied her for sixth place overall with Lutheran West’s Sam Webb.
Morgan Pascarella shot an 88, Reese Vilcheck carded a 96 and Molly McGreal closed out the scoring with a 107. Emma Konopa shot a 108 for the Blue Devils.
Ksiazka has peaked at the right time as she has posted the team-low score in Independence’s last three events.
“She has been on fire,” Schuld said. “She was a little concerned because her lag putting was off today but her tee to green was phenomenal. The conditions at Sable Creek were really tough so all of the scores were elevated today. The course isn’t very forgiving, it’s a placement course, and Allie just continues to hit fairways and greens. Her short putting was good but she was having some trouble with her lag putting.”
Pascarella, who was a freshman on the state championship team, posted another solid score to finish 13th overall.
“On her first shot, she just dead-panned it way left. She had to play out of that and somehow came out of it with a six. I don’t know how she did it, but that’s Morgan. She’s such a competitor and figures it out,” Schuld said. “She’s a little disappointed in herself but I’m certainly not. She always goes out and gets everything she can for the team and understands, probably better than anybody else on the team, what it takes to get to state because she golfed down in Columbus three years ago.”
Pascarella was the No. 5 golfer on the team that won the state title.
Sophia Trombetta is now golfing at Michigan while Lyndsay Blum led Otterbein’s women’s golf team with an average of 83.6 strokes per 18-holes last year as a freshman. Trombetta and Blum, as well as Madeline Mindzora and Maddie Harper, the other members of that state championship team, were quick to reach out to their former coach.
“It was really great today to get home and hear from Lyndsay, Madeline, Maddie, Sophia, the parents,” Schuld said. “That’s the nice thing about it. We’ve only been going for seven years (as a program). Somebody texted me and said it was a tradition but I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of good people and hard-working kids and a lot of parents who get it.”
Lutheran West finished seventh as a team and Hawken was eighth. Only the top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to state.
Hawken’s Ella Wong will join the Blue Devils in Columbus as she tied for first place with a tournament-low 75. Wong, a sophomore, placed 17th at state last season.
Division II Sable Creek District
* – indicates qualifying team
1. Laurel* 366 (Jami Morris 75, Siena Maschke 93, Madeleine Bee 97, Riley Nowak 101, Charlotte Davie 102)
2. Independence* 374 (Morgan Pascarella 88, Allie Ksiazka 83, Reese Vilcheck 96, Emma Konopa 108, Molly McGreal 107)
3. Canton C.C.* 389 (Kristen Belden 88, Kaitlin Belden 92, Katie Bonar 103, Caroline Harold 106, Sarah Colucy 114)
4. Poland Seminary 391
5. SVSM 391
6. CVCA 400
7. Luth. West 402
8. Hawken 405
9. Columbiana 433
10. East Palestine 438
11. Garfield 450
12. Southeast 451
* – indicates qualifying individual
1. Jami Morris(Laurel) 75, Ella Wong*(Hawken) 75; 3. Lauren Bangasser*(Beaumont) 81; 4. Sophia Yurich(Poland Seminary) 82, Alyssa Rapp*(Mooney) 82; 6. Allie Ksiazka(Independence) 83, Sam Webb(Luth. West) 83, Maria Warner (Marlington) 83; 9. Kelly Hutton (Salem) 86, Abbie Retherford (Ravenna) 86; 11. Raygan Hoover(SVSM) 87, Halle Kalaman(SVSM) 87; 13. Morgan Pascarella(Independence) 88, Kristen Belden(Canton C.C.) 88; 15. Nina Shaffer(CVCA) 89; 16. Kate Petersen(Hawken) 92, Kaitlin Belden(Canton C.C.) 92; 18. Siena Maschke(Laurel) 93; 19. Emily Hill (Crestview) 94; 20. Bella Woods (Chalker) 95; 21. Reese Vilcheck(Independence) 96; 22. Madeleine Bee(Laurel) 97; 23. Payton Sherry(East Palestine) 98, Alaina Goldstein(Southeast) 98, Payton Regal (Wellington) 98; 26. Kristen Shaw(Poland Seminary) 99, Coryn Hegele(CVCA) 99, Hayley Roenigk (Woodridge) 99; 29. Gracie Westover(Southeast) 101, Riley Nowak(Laurel) 101, Katie Webb (Bristol) 101; 32. Taylor Bycroft(East Palestine) 102, Isabella Travis(Columbiana) 102, Charlotte Davie(Laurel) 102, Maria Dangelo (Northwest) 102; 36. Katie Bonar(Canton C.C.) 103, Callie Wabeke(Luth. West) 103, Sydnie Pearce(CVCA) 103; 39. Jackie Grisdale(Poland Seminary) 104, Grace Mills(Garfield) 104; 41. Hannah Ogden(Poland Seminary) 106, Laurel Zarbaugh(Poland Seminary) 106, Caroline Harold(Canton C.C.) 106, Julia Colton(Luth. West) 106; 45. Morgan Dunlap(Columbiana) 107, Molly McGreal(Independence) 107, Reese Latta(SVSM) 107; 48. Emma Konopa(Independence) 108; 49. Sidney Marshall(CVCA) 109; 50. Nadia Kauntz(Luth. West) 110, Emily Steel(SVSM) 110; 52. Lainy Boso(East Palestine) 112, Jessica Himes(Columbiana) 112, EmmaRae Foy(Columbiana) 112, Faith Mills(Garfield) 112, Madison Woconish(Garfield) 112; 57. Samantha Calderone (John F. Kennedy) 114, Sarah Colucy(Canton C.C.) 114; 59. Rachael Slotta(Hawken) 116; 60. Lola Reynolds(SVSM) 117; 61. Mackenzie Wood(Southeast) 118; 62. Juliana Pollard(Hawken) 122, Sydney Woconish(Garfield) 122, Grace Edwards(Garfield) 122; 65. Katrina Patrick(Columbiana) 123, Bella Beckett(CVCA) 123; 67. Morgan Rutledge(East Palestine) 126, Addison Bycroft(East Palestine) 126; 69. Ella Walden(Luth. West) 132; 70. Ayden Pettigrew(Southeast) 134; 71. Skylar Werschey(Southeast) 135;