Thursday, December 2, 2021

Islander Girls Golf: 2021 CIF Championship Tournament

The closing weeks of the golf season have been incredibly eventful for the Lady Islanders as they faced off in a trimatch play-in round to qualify for CIF as a team and then the two-day San Diego Championship Tournament. 

First, the Islanders competed in a trimatch against El Capitan and Oceanside at their home course of Coronado Golf Course. Sophomore Bella Villarin was medalist of the round carding an even par 36. Junior Mariella Avanni was next with an impressive score of 43, nearly matching her personal best of 42. Freshman Malia Perry shot a 50, and junior Natalia Avanni scored a 55. Fellow junior Madeline Tulagan rounded out the Islanders with a 58. 

Despite only having five available players and midterm exams beginning the next day, the Islanders managed to defeat El Capitan by a whopping 35 strokes and Oceanside by 18. 

Division 2 play-in match results from the CIF San Diego Section Girls Golf website.

“The play-in match was excellent in the sense that we had a depleted team because of the exams and those that played did extremely well,” Coach Stuart Gordon noted. 

Monday, November 1, marked the first day of a new term for the Islanders as well as the first day of the CIF Championship Tournament. 106 players from nearly two dozen schools participated in this first day at Bernardo Heights Country Club. Tee times for fivesomes began at 8 am, but heavy fog caused not one, but two delays in teeing off. The golfers ended up resuming or starting play nearly 45 minutes after their original tee times. Despite this setback, the Islanders were persistent through what Mother Nature offered them. 

Sophomore Bella Villarin was tied for 17th after her round, carding 6 over par 78. With a shaky first nine of four-over par, Bella managed to pull it together and score just two-over on the front nine. Fellow sophomore Ines Izuzquiza was next with a round of 86, placing her tied for 55th. Sophomore Jasmine Lo followed closely behind with an 87 which made her 60th. Junior Mariella Avanni had a great round of 90, and her sister Natalia Avanni carded a 96. Freshman Malia Perry experienced her first CIF tournament and suffered a minor injury to her wrist after striking a tree root. She battled through her last four holes and wound up shooting 104. 

After the first day, Coronado was 8th among 10 schools and third in Division II with a total of 77-over par. The entire team moved on to the second day of CIF as the top 70 individuals and eight schools qualified. 

Day 1 CIF team scores from the San Diego Section Girls Golf website.

The second day of the CIF Championship Tournament was held at a famously difficult and challenging course, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa: Legends Course. Bella struggled with making greens and avoiding bunkers to end up carding a 90. She finished 36th with a cumulative score of 23-over par for two rounds. Jasmine improved on the second day, carding 11-over par 84 to finish tied for 46th place with Ines, who shot a combined two-day score of 26-over par. Mariella carded a total of 50-over par to secure 67th place. Malia improved by eight strokes to finish at 56-over par and Natalia at 64-over par.

“La Costa is not an easy course; it’s difficult when you’re under pressure, and our players had only played the back nine once last year,” Coach Stuart recounted. “It was a good experience for our team, especially for our freshman.”

Overall, Coronado finished third in an extremely competitive Division II with a total of 173-over par for the two days. Only the top two teams, one from each division, and twelve individuals qualified for Regionals. Although the girls didn’t score as they had hoped, the team is still young with many more CIF tournaments to come.

Junior Mariella Avanni holds up Coronado team’s poster for the two-day CIF tournament.

“Our team is young, and it can only get better from here!” Coach Stuart shared. 

As three-peat champions of the Western League, third in Division II in CIF, noteworthy rounds under par, and breaking 200 are all achievements the Islanders should be proud of. It has been an eventful season for the Islanders with the new 4×4 schedule and going back to school in-person, but the team has shown commitment and improvement throughout the grueling weeks. The girls are looking forward to competing for Coronado next fall as well as hanging yet another Western League Championship banner! 

Find 2021 CIF Championship Tournament results here


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Bella Villarin
Bella is a proud military brat who has been a resident of Coronado since 2015. She was born in Japan and after a short stay in Virginia, traveled extensively throughout Asia while living in Singapore and picking up another language. A freshman at Coronado High School, Bella can be found at the driving range or golf course when not in school, studying, writing, playing the guitar, or spending time with her family. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to:
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