Valencia, minus star power, tops Granada Hills

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The battle between the top-ranked Valencia and No. 2-ranked Granada Hills girls’ golf teams was lacking a little luster on both sides of the lineup Thursday, when both teams were without the services of their No. 1 players. Valencia prevailed 210-255 in the intersectional matchup at Angeles National Golf Club in Sunland, getting a third consecutive medalist performance from Michelle Mannix, but the Vikings had to play without ailing Stevy Loy. Loy, a U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifier, is the Foothill League scoring leader for league co-leader Valencia (27-2), which is expected to mount a strong run for this year’s Southern Section title. It was tougher for four-time defending City Section champion Granada Hills (10-4), which was without ailing Cristina Kubota and also playing for a third consecutive match without season scoring leader Angela Villela, who quit the team following the Highlanders’ Oct. 10 victory over then-No. 1-ranked Hart of Newhall. “We go from No. 2 to probably No. 8 without Angela,” Granada Hills coach Steve Thompson said of his returning All-Area player, who finished third in City Section as a freshman last season and nearly won the Long Beach Women’s Championship this year. Villela quit the team following the Hart match, in the wake of heated words between her father, Gus, and Thompson after the Granada Hills coach told the elder Villela it was against the rules to talk to his daughter during the match. The Granada Hills sophomore remained calm throughout the initial verbal confrontation, then, when heated words resumed after the Highlanders’ victory, she told Thompson she would be leaving the team. Both men were calmer, as well, Thursday, when it appeared possible that the younger Villela might rejoin the Highlanders in time for the Nov. 2 Valley 1 League championship and the Nov. 7 City Section championship at Balboa Golf Course in Encino. “It’s Angela’s decision,” said her father, who took her to practice at Angeles National, her home course. “I’d like to have her back. I hope it works out – I really do,” said Thompson, who said Villela would have to contact Chris Davis, vice principal in charge of athletics at Granada Hills, to rejoin the team. “I’m definitely thinking about it,” Villela said. “I really want to play City.” Granada Hills, which can complete an undefeated Valley 1 League season with a win over Chatsworth on Monday, got a team-leading 42 from Jennifer Cho at Angeles National, where Gloria Park shot 44, Julianne Bolando 51, Noreen Ong 57 and Yvonne Chu 61. Most of the Highlanders were playing for the first time on the course, which hosted a U.S. Open local qualifier in May. “I’m happy with that score, considering,” Thompson said. Valencia, which has produced five different medalists this season, got a 2-over-par 38 from Mannix, who was supported by Jenny Kim (40), Kristin Tayo (42), Andrea Ferris, Tracy White and Jasnin Samson, who shot 45 each in the best-5-of-6 scoring format. “They’re outstanding,” Thompson said. “They’re by far the No. 1 team in the area. They’ve got a legitimate chance to advance at least to the state regionals.” Valencia coach Andy Raevouri would be happy with just a Foothill League title at this point. His Vikings had to win their past two league tournaments to tie Hart for first place and set up a title decider in Monday’s league finale at Woodley Lakes. Having got this far in the best league race of the area season, Raevouri is enjoying the challenge and opportunity. “Hart has pushed us,” he said, “and this is great because it’s a great rivalry, forcing us to be better competitors.” Dave Shelburne, (818) 713-3609 [email protected] last_img