Team looks to build off of last season’s successful playoff run

Aaron Park

The varsity girls’ golf team will enter the 2016 season with a focus on unity and cooperation, hoping to improve upon a 2015 campaign that saw them finish 5-2 and included an appearance in the CIF Divisional Playoffs.

The team will feature returning players including Josie Baker ’18 and Karina Guo ’18, who both qualified for the CIF Individual Regional Playoffs last year. Program Head Marge Chamberlain named Chantalle Wang ’17 captain in a statement posted on the girl’s golf website Aug. 6.

“She comforts players who get down on themselves and inspires others to fall in line,” Chamberlain said. “She is instrumental in organizing events outside of golf that lead to enduring memories and lasting relationships. Chantalle is every coach’s dream. We are optimistic about our season, and I am pleased that she will lead us.”

In addition to its experienced core, the team will also benefit from a talented freshman class.

“It is the best incoming freshman class I have seen in four years,” Chamberlain said, “They will contribute a lot to our program this year. Both Daisy Wan [’20] and Skylar Graham [’20] are very accomplished golfers.”

To promote bonding and help the players become more acquainted with one another, the team took a two-day retreat to Ojai. There, the teammates practiced and participated in team-building exercises.

“We have gained a couple new players, so my main goal was to have everyone get to know each other better, and I think we achieved that on our Ojai retreat,” Wang said.

Chamberlain said that it is essential for the players to be able to depend on one another.

“A lot of times, in golf, it’s not like football or basketball; there’s not lot of people cheering you on, and with the rigors of school and such at Harvard-Westlake, and you’ve got homework and you’re in a match, sometimes it’s easy to say ‘oh this putt doesn’t matter’ and miss a putt,” Chamberlain said. “The girls’ really understand how everybody relies on everybody and we’ve started to do that through our retreat, how we practice, trying to build a cohesive unit where people all understand that we’re all in it together.”

The journey for the team’s first league championship since 2008 will begin on Sept. 1 with a match against Flintridge Sacred Heart at the Encino Golf Course.

“This season, each player on the team has improved so much, propelling us further towards new competitors who may be better than us,” third-year player Karina Guo ’18 said. “But we shouldn’t fear our competitors. Rather, we should be confident in our game knowing that we are a good team.”