Coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, the Laguna Beach High girls' golf team looks to continue on an upward swing during its 2014 campaign.
The Breakers return three starters and four varsity players from a unit that last year won the Orange Coast League championship and finished 13-4 overall. The three returning starters, senior co-captains MaryKate Quellmalz and Leslie Dwight, and junior Murphy Thompson, earned all-Orange Coast League status last year.
Junior Hailey McCullough is the other returnee to the squad.
Under head Coach Scott Finn and assistant coach Sean Quigley, Laguna went undefeated in OCL competition last year for just the second time in program history, joining the 2007 team for that honor.
"Our team looks promising with a lot of upside potential," Quigley said. "We have a strong and accomplished core of returning players and what looks like a good group of new players.
"If the girls keep working hard to improve their scoring, we definitely have the potential to repeat as Orange Coast League champions."
Laguna qualified for the 2013 CIF Southern Section team playoffs, and Quellmalz and then-senior Jackie McMahon both qualified for the CIF-SS Individuals tournament.
Quellmalz, Dwight, Thompson and McCullough give Laguna a solid foundation and help offset the loss of three starters from last year's team.
"The strength of our team is the returning players," Quigley said. "They are all experienced and have performed at a high level in our league as starters for the past two years, with three of them earning all-league last year. If they can provide good leadership to the new players, we should be contending for first place and another trip to the CIF playoffs."
The Breakers will play their home matches at Ben Brown Golf Course at The Ranch in Laguna Beach. Each of their league matches will be four-way competitions at either Ben Brown, Mesa Linda Golf Course in Costa Mesa, or Mile Square Park Golf Course in Fountain Valley.
The Breakers play their season-opening match Wednesday hosting Sage Hill at Ben Brown Golf Course.
2014 Laguna Beach Girls' Golf
League: Orange Coast
Head coach: Scott Finn (4th year)
Assistant coach: Sean Quigley (8th year)
2013 record: 13-4 overall; 12-0 league (champion)
2013 CIF results: First-round of playoffs.
Returning varsity players: MaryKate Quellmalz, Sr.; Leslie Dwight, Sr.; Murphy Thompson, Jr.; Hailey McCullough, Jr.
Returning with honors: MaryKate Quellmalz (first-team all-league); Leslie Dwight (second-team all-league); Murphy Thompson (second-team all-league).
Varsity newcomers: Halle Redfearn, Sr.; Hannah Burnett, Jr.; Anna Kunkel, Soph.; BellaRose Robinson, Fr.
The competition: The Breakers face a tough nonleague schedule that includes matches against Sage Hill, Aliso Niguel and Dana Hills. "Typically, these teams are deeper and stronger than us but it gives the girls an opportunity to see some of the highest level golf in the county," Quigley said. "It also provides them with an early look at the skill level they will see if they reach the CIF playoffs. As a team and as individual players, we need to use this experience against really good teams and players as motivation to improve for the remaining schedule we have in league and playoffs."
Wednesday: Sage Hill, 2:30 p.m.
Thursday: at Sage Hill, 3 p.m.
Sept. 8: Aliso Niguel, 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 9: at Aliso Niguel, 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: Dana Hills, 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 24: at *Costa Mesa (OCL 4-way), 3 p.m.
Sept. 29: at *Calvary Chapel (OCL 4-way), 3 p.m.
Oct. 1: at *Estancia (OCL 4-way), 3 p.m.
Oct. 6: *OCL 4-way, 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 8: at *Costa Mesa (OCL 4-way), 3 p.m.
Oct. 13: at *Calvary Chapel (OCL 4-way), 3 p.m.
Oct. 15: *OCL Cluster, 3 p.m.
Oct. 20: *OCL finals, noon
Oct. 22: *OCL 4-way, 1 p.m.
(*denotes league match; home matches at Ben Brown Golf Course)