Maconaquah beats Valley, Rochester in a 3-way match at Mill Creek
Weaver fires 45 to lead Valley; Moore shoots 45 for Rochester
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The Tippecanoe Valley girls golf team is the reigning Three Rivers Conference champion, but Maconaquah emerged from a school-wide quarantine to state they will be a strong challenger during a three-way match that also included Rochester at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek Tuesday.
Maconaquah won with a 174, Valley was second with a 191, and Rochester was third with a 203.
Maconaquah’s Miranda Stoll took medalist honors with a 42, and teammates Ava Snyder and Kianna Sharp each shot 43.
Madelyn Weaver led Valley with a 45. Kaydence Mellott had a 48, Cheney Canada and Molly Moriarty each had a 49, and Lily Ault had a 56.
Payton Moore led the Lady Zs with a 45 and ended her round by reading a left-to-right break on a 12-foot putt on No. 9 and sinking it for birdie. Ava Thomas made a similar par putt on No. 9 to cap off a 46, Delaney Barkman had a 54, Kat Rensberger had a 58, and Avery Brouyette had a 65.
The two Avas – Maconaquah’s Snyder and Rochester’s Thomas – were two of the three players out of 15 who made a par on the difficult first hole.
None of the five Valley players parred No. 1. Valley coach Thadd Mellott wondered if school being back in session has led to a rise in scores.
“We have the abilities to shoot and have proven that we can shoot in the 160s, 170s range,” coach Mellott said. “And right now … I don’t know if it’s the beginning-of-school thing still or what, but we’re just in a little bit of a rut. So hopefully, we can work that out in the next week-and-a-half and be ready for conference (on Sept. 11).”
Mellott said that Weaver is Valley’s most avid player.
“She’s definitely the most polished,” coach Mellott said. “She probably plays three or four times more golf than any other golfer we have on our team. She plays golf a lot. We truly, if you want the honest opinion, have one technical golfer on our team, and then we have a bunch of other athletes who play golf. It’s just true. We all joke amongst ourselves, the girls and everything, that our golf team looks a little different than most golf teams. We look a little stronger and a little more athletic than most golf teams do.”
As for Rochester, coach Chad Thomas said Maconaquah and Valley showed how much work his team has left to do.
“It’s right at our average,” coach Thomas said. “That’s just an average night for us, and playing the best two teams in the conference, we needed to have better than an average night to have a shot.”
Thomas said iron play for the team is still a “work in progress.”
“We need to keep improving,” Thomas said.
Among those who played JV, Valley’s Lydia Miller had a 60. Rochester’s Reagan Becker had a 55, and Savanah Eccles had a 61.
Valley was technically the home team, but Rochester also plays at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek. The players and coaches are familiar with each other, and the rivalry is a friendly one. An example of this friendly rivalry had to do with Canada, a senior. She typically plays No. 5 for Valley, but she played No. 3 on Tuesday. She asked coach Mellott if she could play No. 3 because she is close friends with Kat Rensberger, Rochester’s No. 3.
“Cheney was one of the first girls I coached, and she’s been great for our program,” coach Mellott said. “She’s bubbly and fun, and if that’s the least I can do is get her to play with her friend tonight … and she shot our third-best score, so everything worked out.”
This was believed to be the first sporting event that any Maconaquah athletic team has played since the school had to go on a sporting pause due to a coronavirus-related outbreak within the school.
at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek Tuesday (front nine, par 36)
MACONAQUAH (174): M. Stoll 42, Snyder 43, Sharp 43, Williams 46, (C. Stoll 50)
VALLEY (191): Madelyn Weaver 45, Kaydence Mellott 48, Cheney Canada 49, Molly Moriarty 49, (Lily Ault 56)
ROCHESTER (203): Payton Moore 45, Ava Thomas 46, Delaney Barkman 54, Kat Rensberger 58, (Avery Brouyette 65)
VALLEY JV: Lydia Miller 60
ROCHESTER JV: Reagan Becker 55, Savanah Eccles 61
Payton Moore (Rochester) Cheney Canada (Tippecanoe Valley)