The varsity girls golf team headed into the season with a lot to defend after winning back-to-back state championships, and it did not disappoint.
The Lady Pioneers started off the season strong on Aug. 5 with a second place finish in the Olentangy Classic, which was their first tournament. They had a combined score of 328, and senior Riley Dean was the medalist for the tournament with a personal score of 74.
On Sept. 4, the team was at New Albany CC for the New Albany Invitational. As a whole, they shot a 342. Again, Dean led the way with a 78. On Sept. 27, the girls took on Olentangy Berlin, Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy. This resulted in a big first place win over the other Olentangy schools with a team score of a low 160. Dean won as an individual with a score of 36.
On Oct. 2, the girls placed first in sectionals with a team score of 306. Dublin Jerome placed second with a team score of 335 but still trailed 29 points behind Orange. This allowed both teams to move onto districts the following week. Seniors Ashley Au and Riley Dean were both medalists, each leading the team and shooting two under a par of 70.
On Oct. 9, the girls went to the district tournament at Cooks Creek and competed against 18 other teams including sister schools, Olentangy Berlin and Olentangy Liberty. As a whole, the girls had a low score of 315 and placed second, qualifying them to move on to the state tournament, held at OSU’s Gray Course on Oct. 19-20, for a third year in a row. Seniors Riley Dean and Ashley Au were the top scores for Orange both with a score of 73.
The team looked to three peat as state champions but fell just short by placing second and becoming state runner-up. It finished with a two day score of 618 by shooting a 310 on day one and 308 on day two. Senior Ashley Au led the team by shooting a 143 combined score which was +3, and she shot an even par of 70 on day one and a three over par on day two (73). Au’s score was good enough to place third overall in the state.
“I feel so happy and amazed that our team is as strong as it is,” Au said. “We won OCCs and sectionals; then we went on to place second in both districts and states. Every year everyone has worked so hard to achieve all of these accomplishments, and I’m proud that our hard work paid off.”