Napa Valley College women's golf team showing improvement
By MARTY JAMES
The Napa Valley College women's golf team continued its 2019 season by finishing in a tie for fifth place in a Big 8 Conference tournament on Tuesday at Chardonnay Golf Club in American Canyon.
As a team, Napa Valley shot 405. Individually, the Storm was led by Lowe with an 86, Vyenielo with an 87, and Bowen with a 98.
Modesto Junior College finished first and Sierra College of Rocklin was second.
"We are improving and getting better, as the season goes on," head coach Bob Freschi said. "Our three sophomores – Jordan, Baylee and Ruthie – are doing well. Hopefully those three are able to continue their collegiate golfing career and move on to the Northern California Regionals."
Napa Valley concludes the Big 8 season with a tournament on Oct. 29 at Spring Creek Country Club in Ripon (San Joaquin County). The conference consists of Napa Valley, Reedley, Sierra, Modesto, San Joaquin Delta of Stockton, Sacramento City, Butte of Oroville and Taft.
Reedley, Sierra and Modesto are battling for the conference title.
Five teams and six individuals from the Big 8 will advance to the California Community College Athletic Association's Northern California Regional Championship, Nov. 4 and 5, at Ridge Creek Golf Club in Dinuba (Tulare County). It's a 36-hole event.
Napa Valley began the season in early September and has traveled extensively, going to Sacramento, Rocklin, Kingsburg (Fresno County), Stockton and Chico (Butte County).
In the team scoring, four scores count in a tournament.
"They are putting forth the effort in practice," said Freschi. "It's the lessons they learn on the golf course and traveling and perseverance on the golf course … that is going to help them throughout their young lives as they move forward, as well as their working careers."
The Storm was seventh at Napa Golf Course at Kennedy Park. Lowe (86), Bowen (94) and Vyenielo (96) led Napa Valley.
Napa Valley finished eighth at Whitney Oaks Golf Club in Rocklin.
Napa Valley was eighth at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton. Lowe (86), Vyenielo (87) and Bowen (102) led the Storm.
The season-long goal for the Storm is to break 400 as a team score. They came very close to doing that at Chardonnay.
"We were close," said Freschi. "We played well. We just made a couple of mistakes, with a couple of bad reads on the greens, and that cost us. Chardonnay has tough greens. They just need to do a better job of reading their putts and executing.
"All in all, we played well – a great effort from the ladies and great positive attitudes."
Lowe played very well last year as a freshman, earning All-Big 8 Conference honors. She shot 82-89 – 171 at the CCCAA Northern California Regional Championships, played at Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis. Lowe placed 33rd, shooting 86-84 – 170 at the CCCAA State Championships, played at Morro Bay Golf Course.
"She's having a nice season," said Freschi. "She's getting it. She's putting it together. And hopefully she makes a run here in the last two weeks of the season and does well at NorCals and then hopefully qualifies for the state."
The CCCAA Women's Golf State Championships are Nov. 17-18 at Morro Bay Golf Course in Morro Bay.
* Marty James is a freelance writer who makes his home in Napa. He retired on June 4, after spending 40 years as a sports writer, sports editor and executive sports editor for the Napa Valley Register, a daily newspaper in Napa County. He is a 1979 graduate of Sacramento State and a member of the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association, Associated Press Sports Editors, and California Prep Sports Media Association. He was inducted into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Vintage High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 7, 2019.