Andover wins 5A regional with outstanding team performance
The only one they have lost is the next one.
Andover won its Class 5A girls regional golf tournament Thursday over the top two City League finishers, Kapaun and Wichita Northwest. The Trojans are headed back to state looking for redemption.
Andover didn’t lose a tournament during the 2017 season outside of last year’s state tournament and haven’t finished off the top spot since. The Trojans finished 13 strokes behind St. Thomas Aquinas to finish runners-up last year.
Thursday, they took a huge step in changing their fortunes. The Trojans won by 33 strokes and swept the top three finishes.
Sophomores Shauna Lee and Tiffany Chan ended 18 holes tied at 12-over 84. After a couple of pars on the first playoff hole, Lee dropped in a near-flawless approach about 6 yards away from the pin on the second hole. That was enough for the regional title.
Chan took second, and Andover sophomore Alivia Nguyen came third with a 16-over 88.
Andover lost two of the best players in Kansas from last year in Baylee Bloom and Hayley Jones, but Trojans coach Ryan Harshaw said his young, talented group has stepped up.
“I don’t think confidence should be an issue,” he said. “They should be able to get up for it and be prepared. It’s just about executing on that particular day.”
The Trojans have only two seniors this season in Rilee Courson and Grace Nelson.
“We knew that we were going to lose our top two best players, so we had to step up,” Chan said.
They will have to again Monday at Hesston Golf Park against the reigning 5A champion — the team that beat them last — Aquinas.
The Saints come in with a lower average score this season, but Lee said it all comes down to mentality.
“A lot of us were freshmen last year, and we didn’t know what to expect,” Lee said. “But this year, we know who we’re going against, and we kind of know the vibe of the state tournament. We kind of came in thinking it was like any other tournament, but there is definitely some more pressure.”