KANE — After another convincing victory Tuesday in Kane, the Lady Chucks' golf team is still undefeated, but Tuesday's victory was a bit sweeter than the first 16, as Tuesday's win meant Punxsy was the District IX champion.
"We've had our hopes set on this win all season, but we knew going into today's match that we would have some serious competition," Punxsy head coach Katie Irwin said. "The course has some very tricky holes, and Kane had a definite advantage playing on their own course. But our girls played smart, focused rounds and deserved the win."
The format of the tournament had the Lady Chucks biting their fingernails in hopes they'd come in with the lowest team score, but when the dust settled, Punxsy shot a combined 445, 20 strokes lower than runner-up Clearfield.
"As the scores were going up on the board, we just held our breath," Irwin said. "But when Sarah came in under 110, we knew we had it."
Punxsy's low-shooter for the day was Lauren Giavedoni with a 106.
"We've seen Lauren's consistency all season, so it was no surprise to see her shoot 53 on both the front and back nine," Irwin said. "Though, as a sophomore who was playing her first district tournament, that's an incredible score. She plays well under pressure."
As has been the case all season, though, Punxsy relied on a strong team effort from top to bottom.
Giavedoni's 106 was the highest of the four schools' best scores, but Punxsy's four scorers were within 13 strokes of Giavedoni — a mark much better than the other teams.
Sarah London (107) was Punxsy's second lowest score.
"Sarah's scores have been consistently low in the last few weeks," Irwin said. "She is very competitive and plays well when pressured. She's also been working on her putting and has really improved."
Caroline Dunkel finished third for the champs with a 113.
"Caroline had a few rough holes, but she more than made up for it over the others," Irwin said. "Her drives and fairway shots were great — some of her best of the season."
Punxsy's final scorer was Marisa Stockdale, who came in with a 119 to round out the 445.
"Marisa played two great rounds," Irwin said. "She got a new driver a few weeks ago, and it's really working out for her. She's been putting a lot of power in her shots, and she helped seal the win for us."
Overall, Irwin was thrilled with the consistency of her team.
"All four girls really pulled together for this win," she said. "They won today the same way they've won all season: As a team."
Irwin also said that a large part of her team's success could be attributed to the support they have back in Punxsutawney.
"Our team is lucky to have such a great support system backing them," she said. "All the parents do so much for their daughters, and they always encourage sportsmanship among the girls. Tom Dunkel gave his time and helped us again this year, and our club pro, Dan, gave them lots of tips throughout the season. This team has a lot of heart, and its easy to see why. They don't just want to win for themselves, they do it for each other and for all those who believe in them."
Unfortunately for the Lady Chucks, although they won districts, their team score wasn't low enough to qualify for regionals, so their final match of the season will more than likely be played Thursday when they travel to Brockway.