Saturday, December 3, 2022

Islander Girls Golf: City Conference Championship Tournament

This past week, the Islander Girls Golf Team competed in the annual City Conference Championship Tournament. Consisting of both an eighteen-hole individual stroke play tournament and three days of match play, the Islanders established a new school record by placing two golfers in the final four of match play.

The first day of the tournament was held at Balboa Park Golf Course with a field of 46 players from both the Western and Eastern Leagues. Coronado entered six girls: senior Mariella Avanni, juniors Ines Izuzquiza, Bella Villarin, Jasmine Lo, Emily Scheurer, and freshman Elleaire Lyons

Junior Emily Scheurer tees off on the par-four first hole of Balboa Park Golf Course.

The greens were unexpectedly lightning fast compared to when the Islanders played their match against Cathedral just the week prior to the tournament. Slow play from the public in front of the first few groups resulted in the lack of momentum, and therefore, some of the Islanders struggled with hitting fairways and sinking putts. In addition, the last few groups struggled to beat the setting sun and were forced to finish in the dark. The last group used flashlights on the putting green in order to see the hole. It was simply one of those days where the girls did not play to the best of their ability. 

Still, Coronado managed to clinch second place as a team with a cumulative score of 446. Villarin led the charge with a round of ten-over par 82. She carded a solid front nine of one-over par 37, then fell apart on the back nine as she wasn’t able to make crucial par putts. Lo had a solid round and ended with an 84. Izuzquiza had a rare “off” day and carded a 90. Lyons performed well for her first City Tournament and shot 93. Scheurer rounded out the Islanders with a 97. The Islanders finished 35 strokes behind the Cathedral Catholic Dons. 

The City Tournament format has the top 16 players move on to the first day of match play. The number one seed is paired against the sixteenth seed, the second seed plays against the fifteenth seed, and so on and so forth. Villarin (seeded seventh) and Lo (seeded eighth) both made it to match play. Izuzquiza, tied for sixteenth, lost in a card off for the back nine and barely missed the cut. 

The first day of match play was held on the front nine of Balboa Park Golf Course. Lo defeated her opponent two and one, meaning she was two-up with one hole to play. Villarin defeated her opponent one-up. She was two up going into the eighth hole, but three-putt to lose that hole and go into the ninth just one-up. Villarin and her opponent tied with pars on the ninth hole, resulting in a win for the Islander. 

Both Islanders advanced to the second day of match play, held again at Balboa Golf Course, but with the field now whittled down to eight players. Lo was paired against the number one seed in the entire tournament. The Islander’s ball striking was pure and she had several solid up-and-downs from off the green. Lo easily defeated her opponent four-and-three, a considerably early victory. Villarin faced the number two seed in the tournament. As a junior, this was Villarin’s third time playing in the City Tournament, and her opponent had virtually no experience with match play being a freshman, which gave Villarin the upper hand. She ended up winning one-up after scoring a par on the eighth hole. 

The final four consisted of two Islanders and one player each from Scripps Ranch and Point Loma. Never before had Coronado placed two golfers in the final four. The two nine hole matches would be played at the prestigious Torrey Pines North Course. Conditions were stellar with pristine fairways, classically fast greens, and exceptionally thick rough. 

Lo was paired against the number four seeded player in the tournament: Kiana Glossner from Scripps Ranch. She had won the City Conference Tournament in 2021 and was well-versed with the match play format. Although Lo made several clutch putts, it wasn’t enough to defeat her senior opponent. Lo ended up losing three-and-two, meaning she was three down with two holes to go. Villarin was paired against the number eleven seed in the tournament, Emilee Canepa from Point Loma. The match was close throughout the nine holes with Villarin going back and forth between two-up and one-up. Ultimately, Villarin was able to close out the match with a par on number eight to win three-and-one. 

The second nine hole match was played on the back nine of Torrey North, which both Lo and Villarin had never played before. The victors of the previous match, Glossner and Villarin, were paired together to compete for first place while Lo and Canepa battled for third place. 

Villarin struggled with putting, costing her crucial holes where she could have tied or won several holes. The unfamiliarity of the course combined with the drastic slopes and hills that accompanied the back nine made playing extremely difficult for the Islander. Villarin ended up losing four-and-three to her opponent despite the hard fought battle.

Lo faced the same unluckiness, having never played the back nine before. She ended up losing three-and-two. Still, the Islanders reached new heights with a record two golfers in the final four. 

Pictured from left to right: Emilee Canepa, Kiana Glossner, and Islanders Bella Villarin and Jasmine Lo
2022 City Conference Match Play Championship Results from the CIF Girls Golf website.

For their efforts, two Islanders, Villarin and Izuzquiza, made First Team All League and one Islander, Lo, made Second Team All League. With all three juniors, Coronado can expect to repeat their successes during their senior year.

Western League All League results from the CIF Girls Golf website.

Next week, the Islanders are looking forward to competing in the CIF play-in match at their home course of Coronado Golf Course against the Academy of Our Lady of Peace and Palo Verde High School. This will be a decisive round to determine which of the three schools will advance to CIF as a team. The Islanders have historically made it to CIF as a team, so a win is expected. 

Find Coronado team and individual results here

Find San Diego City Conference Championship Tournament results here


Bella Villarin
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 junior 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: [email protected]