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Jun 12, 2017

Holmdel Girls’ Golf Team Captures Shore Conference and Monmouth County Championships

By Les Pierce

For the past two years, the Holmdel High School girls’ golf team has finished second at both the Monmouth County (MCT) and Shore Conference (SCT) Tournaments. However, 2017 proved to be a breakthrough season, as the Hornets ended the frustration by easily sweeping both tourneys. It was the first time in the nine-year history of the program that Holmdel had taken a championship at either venue.

The MCT was contested at the Suneagles Golf Club on April 18. The Hornets dominated, shooting a team total of 367. Wall, at 440, provided the closest competition, followed by Marlboro (445), Ranney (450), Rumson-Fair Haven (453), St. Rose (468), and Colts Neck (484). Senior Mehr Sawant shot an 84 to lead the squad and finish second overall, three strokes behind the individual winner, Micaela Crines of Wall. Hornet Sophia Taverna finished third, just one stroke behind Sawant, at 85. Holmdel placed four in the top ten, with Lexi Stewart (sixth – 97) and Claudia Zhang (eighth – 101) completing the team scoring.

Six days later, on April 24, the squad competed in the SCT at the Jumping Brook Country Club, where they would now face the best of both Ocean and Monmouth Counties. The results were similar in team scoring, as Holmdel cruised to another decisive victory, shooting a 361 for a 29-stroke advantage over Ocean County champion Toms River North. Trailing the two leading squads were Wall (429), Marlboro (439), Toms River East (495), and Southern (496).

The lopsided team scoring suggests the event may have been somewhat mundane, but the battle for individual standings provided plenty of excitement. It came down to the last hole, when Holmdel freshman Sophia Taverna put in a birdie putt to claim the individual title by one stroke over Kayla Guitierrez of Pinelands for an eight over par score of 80. MCT champion Micaela Crines tied for third at 82 with Amanda Hart of Red Bank Catholic. Taverna was the first freshman to win the individual SCT championship since RBC’s Taylor Totland achieved that distinction in 2010. Scoring for the Hornets were Mehr Sawant (sixth – 84), Lexi Stewart, (11th – 96), and Shravya Jasti (16th – 101).

Nine-year head coach Geri Semenza stated, “As the coach of this year’s Holmdel High School girls’ golf team, I am extremely proud of the team’s accomplishments. The combination of talented and experienced players like Mehr and Shravya, with the addition of talented freshmen like Sophia, Lexi, and Claudia, made this year’s success is a true team effort. Although golf seems very individual, and it is, when everyone contributes to the win, it takes the pressure off one or two individuals, which allows everyone to relax and play their best.”

Senior Mehr Sawant will continue her golf career at Williams College in Massachusetts next year.