“Three” is a familiar number for the Green Hope girls’ golf team.
The Falcons finished third in the state last year, and they’re going for a third consecutive conference title this year. They’ll try to pull off the three-peat with three of their top returning players.
Green Hope, while losing its top two players from a year ago, returns junior Meghan Symonds, junior Sophie Riegel and junior Amanda Yannoni, giving them three returning all-conference players.
Symonds finished tied for third in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A state championships while also tying for runner-up at the 4A East regional. Riegel had a 40-strokes-per-nine-hole average and Yannoni’s was 40.86, helping the Falcons take six conference matches outright and tie for another.
The Falcons also won the 4A East regional and the conference tournament.
Middle Creek, which won one conference match and tied for the other with Green Hope, finished runner-up to the Falcons last year. But the Mustangs were hit hard by graduation.
Apex was third in the league and returns junior Maria Cassas.
The Southwest Wake Athletic 4A Conference, previously called the Tri-9, watched Fuquay-Varina join Middle Creek and Green Hope in qualifying for the state tournament last year. Holly Springs almost made it a complete conference sweep of the regional, edged out on a tiebreaker by Wake Forest.
Fuquay’s Catherine Ashworth, a junior, is the leading returning SWAC golfer. She averaged 37.25 strokes per nine holes last season and won the 4A East regional before finishing 12th in the state competition.
Sophomore Brittany Greene gives the Bengals two of their three golfers used in the state tournament.
Holly Springs is expected to contend with Green Hope and others for the SWAC title as four starters return, led by senior Leigha Holt (41.25), the program’s top player the last two years. She finished tied for 13th in the state tournament.
Junior Courtney Normand played No. 2 in 2012 and also qualified for the state competition.
Athens Drive has a new coach now that Tony Alcon – winner of three of the last four state titles – has retired. The Jaguars also lose 4A state champion Sarah Bae but bring in one of the state’s top freshmen in Emilia Migliaccio.
The Jaguars have had two of the last four individual state 4A champions, with Katherine Perry preceding Bae in 2009, and Migliaccio has the resume to be another.
She won two summer tournaments, was runner-up in another and was a semifinalist in a match-play tournament. She also qualified for the Callaway Junior World Championship for the second year in a row, is a member of the North Carolina-South Carolina all-star team selected to play the Virginia-Maryland all-stars and has a career-best nine-hole score of 30.
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps