Sep. 16—MUNCIE — Working through a midseason golf slump — or a case of “the shanks,” as Addy Gick termed it — is never easy.
But this is sectional time and where Gick and her Daleville teammates have made a habit of playing their best golf.
Saturday at Crestview Golf Club in Muncie was no exception as Gick shot a career-low 75 (+3), her senior teammate Ava Capes did likewise with her 86 (+14) and both will move on to next weekend’s Lapel Regional at The Edge in Anderson.
This will be the third consecutive trip to the regional round for Gick and Capes, but it is rendered somewhat bittersweet as, unlike in the previous two years, the pair will be going as individuals after the Broncos failed to qualify as a team.
“I’m excited. It sucks that we can’t go as a team, and I’m going to miss these girls,” Gick said. “But I’m excited to go with Ava. I’m glad she got out, too.”
The Delta Eagles, led by an historic round from Belle Brown, were crowned the team champion for a fourth straight time with a score of 349. Brown carded a 66 (-6), tying her for the 10th-best sectional round in IHSAA girls golf history.
Wapahani advanced with a 370, and Yorktown — led by co-runner up Kayleigh Agugliero’s even-par 72 — was the third team to move on with a 375. The season-best score by the Tigers denied Daleville’s sixth team advancement in seven years by just six strokes.
“It is bittersweet, and I’m proud of my girls,” Daleville coach Matthew Wilson said. “We’ve done a good job all year, and we’re going to keep working on it.”
Wes-Del freshman Jane Armington matched Agugliaro with a 72 and will advance to regional as an individual.
Gick — paired with Brown — played steady throughout, unbothered by the way the Eagles senior was scorching the course. She went out in 39 — at 3-over par — with seven pars, one double-bogey and a bogey.
She started the back-nine, however, with consecutive birdies on the par-5 10th and the par-four 11th and finished the inward nine at even-par 36. Her 75 bettered last year’s sectional score by six shots and comes after a mid-season stretch when Gick struggled with her accuracy.
“I’m always nervous the first few holes, especially the way I was playing a few weeks ago when I had the shanks,” she said. “With my irons, I was a little nervous about it. But playing at our home course was calming and helped me a lot.”
Even more steady than Gick was Capes. Shooting a 43 on each side, she showed off a newfound length that came after some driving range work with Wilson. That paid dividends with birdies on the par-5 second and 12th holes.
“Usually the par-fives are where I struggle and where I start giving strokes,” Capes said. “Today was a little different. … We play here a lot, so I feel comfortable playing here.”
Sophomore Alyssa Richman shot a 110 out of the Broncos’ No. 3 slot and showed plenty of emotion at the end of what was, for her, a disappointing day on the course.
Her teammates and her coach know there will be better days ahead for Richman.
“I got a little upset. I like playing with them,” Capes said. “She knows her game, and she knows what she’s capable of doing.”
“My No. 3 is not happy, and I hope she remembers this,” Wilson added. “I hope she comes out of this and is hungry.”
The highlight of the day on the course for Daleville may have come from their No. 5 golfer, Audry Capes.
The freshman, who had never picked up a golf club prior to two weeks ahead of this season, shot her personal best at 110, rounding out the Broncos’ scoring. Her round included a chip in for eagle on the par-5 second hole, an accomplishment made before Capes ever recorded a birdie.
“This is golf. There are highs and lows no matter what you do,” Wilson said. “The best example I can think of is this, my No. 5 shoots her personal best, makes eagle before she makes a birdie, has had one par and that’s golf. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Fellow freshman Emma Ciampola added a 113 for Daleville.
Although a regular season meeting with Lapel at The Edge was rained out in the middle of the match earlier this year, it is a course Gick and Capes are familiar with. They can use that experience to help play well, but the goal is to have fun.
Sectional play continues Monday as Alexandria, Elwood, Frankton, Lapel and Pendleton Heights will play at Harbour Trees in Noblesville while Shenandoah heads to Hawk’s Trail in New Palestine.
Players advancing from these two sites will join Gick and Capes at the Lapel regional next Saturday.
“There are really good players there, so I’m just going to go and have fun since it’s my last time,” Gick said.
Contact Rob Hunt at email@example.com or 765-640-4886.