GREENFIELD — It was a rematch of teams that finished 1-2 in last year’s Hoosier Heritage Conference girls golf tournament, but neither Mt. Vernon nor Pendleton Heights looked much like they did in 2021.
The Marauders graduated the top four players from their conference championship team. Pendleton Heights graduated its No. 1 and No. 2 players from last season.
A year ago, the Marauders were winners by 20 strokes over the second-place Arabians at the conference championship match held last September at Albany Golf Club.
Tuesday’s dual match at Arrowhead Golf Course — Mt. Vernon’s home course — was a chance for both teams to get some early-season experience. It was the first contest of the year for the Marauders, while Pendleton Heights had played in an 18-hole tournament in Plainfield on Monday.
Chalk one up for the team that had just a little bit more experience.
Pendleton Heights defeated Mt. Vernon 193-196.
“It’s always a benefit when they play in a competition the day before,” Pendleton Heights coach Hilary Slick said. “They’re already in competition mode. They know what they have to do. And, it was 18 holes, so they got a lot of swings in.”
Mt. Vernon coach Mike Miner was pleased with his team, too.
Sophomore Natalie Miner was match medalist with a 44. Izzy VanHeel, a sophomore and only player that was a full-time varsity player last year, shot a 46.
Juniors Aubrey Trittipo and Kalin Walpe rounded out the Mt. Vernon team score by finishing with rounds of 53.
“Our goal was to break 200 as a team. Our two juniors (Trittipo and Walpe) stepped up. They hadn’t been scoring less than 55 this week and they both did that (Tuesday),” coach Miner said. “We know our No. 1 (VanHeel) is going to improve. She’ll shoot better than 46. I’m real pleased. If we can break 190 — and we’re close — we’ll be competitive this year.”
Including her rounds played as a freshman, Natalie Miner had her best round on her home course.
“She played in our No. 6 position last year,” coach Miner said. “It’s definitely a good start. She has been working hard.”
The Arabians were led by Audrey Jenkins and Skylar Baldwin, who were both varsity team members a year ago. Each shot a 46 on Tuesday. Kelsey Day carded a 50. Addison Summerall had a round of 51.
“I’m very pleased with our two 46s,” Slick said. “I expected another one to be up there, but it just didn’t happen. The 51 from Addison Summerall was a nice surprise.”
The Arabians next match will be their first home contest, Monday against Madison-Grant. Home matches are played at Fall Creek Golf Club in Pendleton.
Mt. Vernon is back at Arrowhead on Thursday with a match against another HHC foe, Shelbyville.
“We can only get better. Now we’re in search of that fifth score and we have a couple of girls that are real close,” coach Miner added. “Our goal is still to get out of the sectional. We know we need to get down to about 380 (for 18 holes).”