City College relies on young talent

Michael Galsterer, Michael Galsterer, and Michael Galsterer

Short on experience but loaded with talent, the City College women’s golf team has high expectations for the 2010 season.

City College has won the state title two of the last four years, giving this year’s squad something to shoot for. However, this team is notably young featuring five freshmen and only two returning players.

“This is a tough league, College of the Canyons is loaded with talent, as is Bakersfield,” said Head Coach Chuck Melendez. “I would be extremely happy if we made it to the playoffs.”

City College kicked off league play at Olivas Links Golf Course in Ventura on Aug. 30 as part of the South Coast Classic. Within league play they finished second to College of the Canyons, 329-333, and finished fifth overall.

Freshman Nicole Bullemer, 18, led the way for the Vaqueros with a 36-hole score of 158. Her second round 75 was a big turn around from her opening day 83.

“I wasn’t mentally prepared the first day,” said the former Dos Pueblos High standout. “I have it figured out now.”

In her senior year at Dos Pueblos High School, Bullemer was the Channel League’s individual champion.

Melendez, entering his 12th season as City College golf coach, anticipates a strong showing from his number one freshman.

“Nicole is a leader and a solid player,” Melendez said.

One of the two returning players, Anna Samson, also attended Dos Pueblos and will bring veteran leadership to the young squad.

“We’ll really have to show the younger girls a good example,” Samson said. “With our tournament experience, we can help them gain confidence.”

As one of only two players with experience at City College, Samson will be able to offer insight to the freshmen as she begins the new season.

“I am a conservative player to begin with, but I understand when to take risks. That knowledge will be beneficial to some of the freshmen players,” Samson said.

Coach Melendez is carrying seven players on this year’s team.

In addition to Samson and Bullemer, there’s sophomore Nicole Denny, freshmen Emily Wisma, Lise Andersen, Kristina Goethe, and adding international flavor to the team, Kurmi Ando from Japan.

The top two teams in the Western State Conference will advance to the playoffs and the top four of six scores are counted in each match. City College will play in eight matches before the Western State Conference Finals on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at Olivas Links Golf Course in Ventura.

“We definitely have the potential to make it to the playoffs,” Samson said. “There is some tough competition, but our top four players are very capable of shooting in the 70s.”

The Vaqs’ next match will be Sept. 20 in Glendora.