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Big Blue Beat: Girls' Varsity Golf Team

By Hannah Gruber '19

Last season's highlights:
Last year, the Girls' Varsity Golf Team achieved many victories and personal bests. At the Somerset County Tournament in April, Ami Gianchandani '18 placed first and Christine Shao '19 placed third, leading the team to a first-place finish overall. The team also flourished in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions—their first time competing in the state-wide tournament in several years—with a second-place finish. Ami again led Big Blue, taking first. Christine, who took 12th, Kathryn Jones '19, Ashley Lu '20, and co-captain Kiara Smith '17 rounded out the team. At the close of the regular season, both Ami and Christine qualified for the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship in Augusta, Missouri in late July, one of the most prestigious junior golf events of the year. It was Ami's third consecutive national championship appearance, and she had her best performance yet, advancing to the quarterfinals. In a separate tournament in early July, Christine shot a course-record to win the 63rd NJSGA Junior Girls Championship at the Royce Brook Golf Course (Ami, who won the event in 2015, placed fourth)

What to watch for this season:  
• This year's two captains, Ami and Christine, will be a driving force for the 2018 team, in addition to Ashley Lu '20, who has improved dramatically, and freshman Zara Jacob. These four core girls, along with Alisa Chokshi '18, Victoria Gu '20, Neha Lall '18, Aanya Lall '19, Rachel Chen '18, and Lauren Yu '18 will be serious contenders for the Skyland Conference Championship. They will also look to repeat as County Champions and once again advance to the Tournament of Champions, with the ultimate goal of willing the event.

• Head Coach Rob Mauer, who joined the team in 2015, has emphasized the importance of the upperclassmen mentoring the underclassmen. He looks forward to helping this year's new crop of golfers to develop, since they are the future of the team.

• This season will see many new players in the mix, as Coach Mauer is hoping to rotate the varsity starting lineup.

Full-court Press:
"We hope to capture the state title this year as a team, along with repeating as the county champs and capturing the Skyland Conference championship. This team has a great dynamic, and the girls have a very good, positive, confident outlook on the season."—Head Coach Rob Mauer

Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer,