Carson High School girls golf coach Paul Croghan was hoping his team would be at its best when it counted the most. He wasn't disappointed.
The Senators qualified for the state championship in Friday's Northern 4A Regional Tournament at Washoe County Golf Course. Carson placed third with a 473 to qualify, finishing two strokes behind Reno and Galena, who finished in a tie for first at 471. Brandy Blume's 105 gave Galena the better sixth-player score and the tie-breaker advantage as the Grizzlies successfully defended their zone team title.
The top three teams advanced to the state tournament this coming Wednesday and Thursday at Genoa Lakes.
Three Carson players cracked the top 10 on the leader board - Cassidy Baxter shot 86 for fifth, Megan Mulvaney 89 for sixth and Katie Morton 92 to tie for ninth - as the Senators nearly pulled out the team title.
"If you had told me beforehand that we would shoot 473, I'd have taken it," Croghan said. "That course isn't easy by any means. It plays about 5,800 (yards) and most of the other courses play closer to 5,200 from the ladies tees, so that makes it tough.
"I knew it was going to be close coming in," he added, "but I didn't expect we'd be that close to the first-place team."
Mulvaney played well down the stretch as the senior shot 6-over par 44 over par for the final nine holes.
"The back 9 plays a little longer, but Megan hung in there and played pretty good," Croghan said.
Lindsay Knox of Douglas shot 93 to earn one of six state tournament individual berths.
Galena's Chandeni Gill took fourth with an 83. Wooster's Aislyn Nelson won the individual title with a 78.
Other scores for Carson included Sara Liveratti 102, Christy Upton 104 and Ciarra Christian 111.
Other scores for Galena were: Kristina Ely, 94; Ardea Canepa, 93, Shandra Cipriano, 97; Ryan Binker, 104; and Brandi Blume, 105.
Also competing for Douglas were Kariann Zinke (103) and Karyle Louritt (124).