After coming up just short of a trip to the Class A Girls State Golf Tournament a year ago, the Nashville Hornettes simply left no doubt about their intentions on Monday at Salem Country Club.
Junior Hope Rueter shot a 5-over par 77 while teammates Jill Guetersloh and Rachel Kell added rounds of 83 and 84 respectively as Nashville took the team title at the Class 1A Salem Girls Sectional Golf Tournament.
Rueter, the daughter of former Major League pitcher Kirk Rueter, finished one stroke behind medalist Millie Lawson of Massac County, but led the way for the Hornettes who finished with a team score of 332, 14 strokes better then Massac County. Effingham St. Anthony placed third with a total of 358 and will join the Hornettes and Patriots in the Class 1A State Tournament which begins on Friday at Red Tail Run Golf Course in Decatur.
The trip to the state wfinals will be the first for Nashville since the ‘13 season when the Hornettes claimed the state title. The Hornettes placed no lower than fourth in state during a span from 2010-13. And while this will be the first trip to state as a team for the current group of Nashville players, the goals remain the same for coach Doug Kell.
“First and foremost, I want this to be fun for these girls. Something they will always remember,’’ Kell aaid. “But we know we are also going up with a purpose in mind. I think we can win it and there is no doubt that the girls and their parents and their families think we can it.
“A trophy of any kind would be fantastic though.’’
Sara Guetersloh rounded out the four scores for Nasvhille with an 88. Three local individual players also earned trips to the state finals. Makensy Umscheid of Waterloo and Okawville senior Meg Schoeker will be spending three days in Decatur after tying for seventh place with scores of 82, while Roxana’s Bailey Sharpmack tied for the final qualifying spot with an 85.
Rueter, who qualified for the state finals a year ago as a sophomore, battled Lawson down to the wire before coning up one stroke short, while Jill Guetersloh was waging a battle of a totally different kind.
Playing consistent golf throughout her round, Guetersloh fought off severe back pain on the back nine holes.
“She was hurting to the point where I thought I might have to have her withdraw about the 12trh or 13th hole. I was able to get her some Ibruprofren and she was able to gutt thrpough it,’’ Kell said. “We played well today. We shot 337 recently and I thought if we could do that we would have a good chance of winning. Well, we shot 332.’’
Umscheid, Schnoeker advance
While Nashville will play as a team, Waterloo’s Makensy Umscheid and Meg Schnoeker made their dreams come true on Monday by earning state tournament bids.
Umscheid said the course played tough with fast greens. But that she was able to play well enough to advance.
“I didn’t know what it would take for me to advance today. The greens were fact and the course was playing tough. I’m just glad I was able to advance. Hopefully, I can play well this weekend.’’
Schnoeker failed to make a birdie in her round on Monday. But the Lady Rockets senior made just enough pars to get out of sectional play.
“I re ally didn’t know what to expect today,’’ Schnoeker said. “I just tried to take it hole-by-hole and make as many pars as I could. That’s my goal for this weekend too... Just take it hole-by-hole.’’
Althoff, Columbia fall short
The season came to an end for South Seven Conference champion Althoff and Cahokia Conference champion Columbia on Monday.
Althoff, the ‘14 state champion, placed sixth with a team score of 373. Waterloo was seventh at 377 and Columbia was 10th at b380.
Katelyn Jonak led Columbia with a 91, while Althoff got a career best round of 92 Kendyl Santos. Maggie Tiernan also shot 92 for Althoff.
Boys Class 3A Pekin Sectional
Edwardsville juniors Ben Tyrrell and Tanner White shot rounds of 75 and Luke Babington added a 76 as the Tigers earned a bid into the Class 3A State Tournament with a second place finish at the Pekin Golf Sectional.
Perennial state power New Lennox-Providence won the team title at Lick Creek Golf Course, shooting a 304, three strokes better than the Tigers (307). Quincy earned the third and final spot in the state tournament which begins on Friday at the Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington. The Blue Devils had a 315 score.
Spencer Patterson rounded out the Tigers top four scores with an 81.
Belleville East will be represented at the state finals by senior Austin Galloway. One of the Lancers top players for the past three years, Galloway shot 78 on Monday to qualify as an individual.
Boys Class 1A Robinson Sectional
For the first time in recent memory, the metro-east area will not have a player or team competing at the Class 1A State Tournament which begins on Friday at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.
Massac County finished with a four-man total of 327 to edge Teutopolis (328) and Hillsboro (329) for the title. at the Class 1A Robinson Sectional at Quail Creek Golf Course.
Gibault was seventh with a team score of 362, followed by Nashville which was 10th at 370 and Red Bud placed 11th with a score of 376.
Lithfield’s Alex Bishop won the individual crown with a 73.