Season preview: Girls’ golf tees off new season

Claire Krugler, Author

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Senior Olivia Johnson takes a swing during practice at the Palo Alto Municipal golf course. Photo by Claire Krugler.

Senior Olivia Johnson takes a swing during practice at the Palo Alto Municipal golf course. Photo by Claire Krugler.

After placing first in the Central Coast Section and placing fourth in the California Interscholastic Federation State Championship last year, the Palo Alto High School girls’ golf team hopes to bring its past success into the 2014 season.

There will be spots to fill because the team graduated seniors Annie Chen and Audrey Horn last year, however, coach Doyle Knight is confident that the team will be strong despite this loss.

“With [senior] Michelle Xie and [sophomore] Emily Hwang leading the team,” Knight said, “and returning players [sophomore] Celia Willner, [sophomore] Elise Kiya, [senior] Olivia Johnson and [sophomore] Alice On improving several strokes better than last year and four new additions, we should still have a very strong team.”

Johnson says she is looking forward to this season and is confident in the team’s ability to do well.

“This season we hope to win leagues because last year we lost to Gunn by just two strokes,” Johnson said. “That was a disappointment. We made it to CCS and won CCS last year and we hope to do that again. Hopefully we’ll make it to States again.”

Sophomore Emily Hwang is expecting just as strong of a season as last year.

“Last year, especially as a freshman and since it was the first year of the team, I didn’t really know what to expect at all,” Hwang said. “I think our team is almost or just as strong as it was last year so hopefully we can win CCS again and make it to States.”

The girls are scheduled to play Los Gatos at 3:00 p.m. Sept. 11 at Los Gatos High School for their season opener.

“We beat Los Gatos last year so hopefully we can beat them again,” Johnson said. “I think there’s a lot of excitement right now. Everyone is looking forward to the first tournament at Poplar Creek and then we’re all looking forward to our first match, so hopefully it should go well.”

Knight is also ready for the team’s first opener tournament.

“Our goal is to repeat the great season we had last year,” Knight said. “Whether we do or don’t will remain to be seen, but the girls are working hard to give it their best.”

Their first home match will be at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 25 against Gunn High School.