Before the season began two months ago, the possibility of participating in a postseason match seemed farfetched for the members of the Crescenta Valley High girls' golf team.
The Falcons entered the season with a virtually new cast of players, leading to them struggling early before enjoying a resurgence during the last three Pacific League matches. A jump from fourth to ultimately a second-place finish in league left the Falcons rejuvenated and eager to keep their momentum going against some of the top teams in Southern California.
Though Crescenta Valley saw its season come to a close with a sixth-place finish in the CIF Southern Section Central Team Divisional at Jurupa Hills Country Club in Riverside County on Thursday afternoon, it showed that it might be a serious contender in the future.
"We just fell a little short, but we did have a great season," said Crescenta Valley second-year Coach Lee Pope, whose team carded a 436. "I'm extremely happy.
"This is like a cherry on top of the sundae. I'm pleased with the way we played from the second half of the season right through [Thursday]. We have such a bright future, so we can't wait until next year and the year after."
The top four teams advanced to the team final, which will be held Thursday at River Course at the Alisal in Solvang. Torrance won the 20-team event with a 380, followed by Palos Verdes at 384. Arcadia, which won the Pacific League crown, took third with a 416 and North Torrance was fourth at 417.
Long Beach Wilson placed fifth (429).
Crescenta Valley sophomore Jocelyn Chia carded a two-over-par 73 to finish tied for fourth. Esther Lee of Los Alamitos and Fountain Valley's Lilia Vu shot 70s to share medalist honors.
Chia, who captured her first individual league championship Oct. 20 at Jurupa Hills, started her round Thursday with a double bogey before quickly regrouping.
"I was really tired and I just didn't start off well," said Chia, the reigning All-Area Girls' Golfer of the Year who will next participate in the CIF Northern Individual Regional on Monday at River Ridge Golf Club's Vineyard Course in Oxnard. "I had to ignore it because I still had 17 holes left to play.
"I'm satisfied with the way I played. I know I can do better."
Crescenta Valley, which last qualified for the Central Team Divisional in 2008 and turned in a 10th-place performance, received an 83 from Audrey Chung and an 88 from Amy Park on Thursday. The Falcons also got a 91 from Deborah Chin and a 101 from Alice Yoon.
Burroughs, which finished third in the Pacific League, tied for 11th with Long Beach Poly at 457. Burroughs received 87s from Ravipa Losakul and Joany Gao.