SBCC women’s golf looks to fill shoes left by 2013 state champs

From+left%2C+Emilie+Arnoldi%2C+Sara+Pettersson%2C+Rebecca+Valice+and+Tiffany+Huang+work+on+their+putting+skills+before+an+18+hole+practice+run%2C+Wednesday%2C+Sept.+10+at+the+Santa+Barbara+Municipal+Golf+Course.+The+lady+Vaquero+golf+team+is+hosting+the+Western+State+Conference+No.+2+on+Monday%2C+Sept.+15.

Brandon Daluka Lippincott

From left, Emilie Arnoldi, Sara Pettersson, Rebecca Valice and Tiffany Huang work on their putting skills before an 18 hole practice run, Wednesday, Sept. 10 at the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course. The lady Vaquero golf team is hosting the Western State Conference No. 2 on Monday, Sept. 15.

BILLY SNYGG, Channels Staff

With a 2013 State Championship title in the bag, the City College Women’s Golf team looks to return to the course strong this season.

But City College is eager to see how this year will stack up.

“This team has a lot of talent,” head coach Chuck Melendez said Monday. “To repeat the last seasons achievements will be hard, but possible.”

Melendez, who is seeing his 14th season as City College’s head coach, sees a lot of potential in his new team. With only one returning player and seven new faces, he’s made a few changes to reach their ultimate goal again–one step at a time.

“Our top goals this season will be to reach the regionals and to let the new players on the team gain experience,” Melendez said. “To do that, we’re focusing on the basics and improvement.”

Saralisa Ortega, the sole returner for the Vaqueros, is coming off a great season in 2013.

“I want to help the team improve as much as I can and I would like to be able to compete in the state championship,” Ortega said.

The sophomore, whom is a local Santa Barbara High School graduate, stood out with a 4-over 74 on the South Coast Classic on Monday in Ventura. The former Don helped the Vaqueros to a fourth place finish in the tournament and second in the Western State Conference tournament No. 1.

Melendez is confident that she’ll be a key player this season, but points out that it’s still early and that teamwork is the key to his team’s success.

“Chuck’s a great coach and he’s making practicing fun and that helps the team a lot,” said Freshman Sara Pettersson.

With one message, Melendez gains the focus of his players.

“Focus, hit straight and respect one another.”

His experience speaks for itself, having a coaching background of over 30 years. Mentoring 58 college teams and winning 3 state titles, Melendez is working to add another trophy to the case. With the sweet taste of a state title still fresh, Melendez is heading back for seconds.

City College hosts WSC No. 2 at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 15 at Santa Barbara Golf Course.