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Mercer Island girls golf extends winning streak, prepares for tough spring ahead
While it hasn’t been the best — or even remotely close to good — golfing weather this spring, the Mercer Island girls team has still been out playing and practicing, hoping that someday it won’t rain on them.
“It’s going really well, actually,” said Haley Chinn, a captain this season. “Our freshmen and underclassmen are improving all the time. They are a great contribution to the team.”
The team, which has extended its winning streak to 47 dual matches, with three wins so far this spring, has a large group of younger players.
“This team has outstanding leadership,” said head coach Don Papasedero. “The three captains are very good. We’re also a very young team. We have 12 freshmen and sophomores — they are very good, but they’ll have to grow up fast and play very well.”
The team has a very tough schedule ahead of it, playing top teams from WesCo, South Puget Sound League and even the reigning 4A champs Lewis and Clark in Spokane.
“I’m really excited to play them,” said captain Chelsea Saelee.
The team hopes this year to add more KingCo, SeaKing titles and another state title to the list of accomplishments, but the No. 1 goal this season is increasing team unity and bonding.
“We’re working on bringing the team together and making sure that everyone is having fun,” said Chinn.
Since the seniors were freshmen the Islanders have skyrocketed, something the captains hope they will be able to continue.
“Since I was a freshman, it’s definitely built up,” said Chinn. “There is more pressure on us to step up and contribute, it’s fun, but it’s hard work.” One of her goals is to help the underclassmen prepare to fill that void next season.
Papasedero said in the early season the team has been working on eliminating penalties, eliminating three putts and hitting the green inside 50-yards. All are attainable, he said, but for a younger team it’s important to work on those aspects of the game.
Whether or not those skills are learned in the rain or not this spring remains to be seen.
“It’s really not that much fun to play in the rain,” said Saelee.
The Islanders will play against Lake Washington on Tuesday, April 17 at Bellevue Municipal Golf Course at 3:30 p.m., before hosting Juanita on Thursday, April 19 at 4 p.m. The Mercer Island girls play home matches at Jefferson Park Golf Club.