North Allegheny trio qualifies for WPIAL tournament

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Saturday, September 30, 2017 | 1:39 AM


For the second straight year, the North Allegheny girls golf team will be taking the same group Oct. 4 to the WPIAL Class AAA individual championships. Juniors Caroline Wrigley and Christina Lewis clinched their third trip to the district championships, while sophomore Esha Vaidya will be going for the second time.

All three advanced by turning in solid rounds at the Pittsburgh North Golf Course during the Section 4-AAA qualifier. Tigers coach Mike Hambrick thought all of his golfers still have room for growth.

“They looked good,” Hambrick said. “As good as they are, they weren't great, but they were good. It was on our home course, so I expected us to shoot lower. The course conditions were tough and the grass was running out. They hit a few balls further than they thought and couldn't judge the distance well.”

Wrigley, who qualified for states as a freshman, earned medalist honors. She finished three strokes ahead of second-place finisher Lewis, who made states last season.

Vaidya shot an 87 and finished fifth.

Wrigley finished with a 1-under par 72 (35-37) and was consistent throughout her round. Hambrick described Wrigley as being like a “mini-professional.”

“Overall, she's a well-rounded golfer,” Hambrick said about Wrigley. “She has a good swing, knows the game and has played for a long time. She's like the one you send out there and don't worry about. At the end of the day, she'll be around par. She's a grinder. She'll make a few birdies to make up for bad shots.”

Lewis, who shot a 75 (34-41), had strong front nine, but was a little inconsistent on the final nine holes.

Hambrick believes Lewis and Wrigley will both be threats to win the PIAA crown. Lewis has strong support at home to help her improve.

“She's a very good golf background,” Hambrick said. “She's played for many years and works hard. Her father helps her a lot. I don't do much with her swing. (Her dad) does a nice job with her. She's a real threat.”

North Allegheny's deep lineup has spelled trouble for many teams. The two-time defending WPIAL champions moved to 18-0 on the season after beating Penn-Trafford, 153-156, last Wednesday at Irwin Country Club. It was the closest match of the season for the Tigers.

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

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