High School Sports

Saint Stephen's Falcons advance to state girls golf tournament

NAPLES -- For the third straight year, the Saint Stephen's Falcons edged St. John Neumann of Naples, foiling the Celtics at Hibiscus Golf Club for their third straight Class 1A-Region 6 girls tournament title.

The Falcons prevailed by a single shot, 348 to 349, advance to the state tournament.

"It was a tough match out there today," said Saint Stephen's coach Letitia Zilar. "Neumann was tough. Our girls didn't play their utmost. The greens were pretty tough out there today. It's awesome to repeat."

Natalie Pleyrova fired a 75 to lead the Falcons. Michelle Yan had a 76.

"She (Yan) had a really rough round," Zilar said. "It was a tough day for her. I never saw her putt so many putts. She pounded the ball down the fairway though and played through the difficulties."

Out-of-Door Academy's Wendy Tan tied for second with a 75 and will advance as an individual to state.

"We wanted to beat them, no doubt about it," Neumann coach Jeff Jones said of St. Stephen's after his team won the district tournament last week. "We have a team that can be pretty close to them, so we will see."

St. Stephen's and Neumann advance to next week's state tournament at the Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills outside of Orlando.

"Every girl can probably go out there and think of one shot she could have done better," Jones said. "But I think they did the best they could. I'm proud of how we finished. We'll try again next year."

Neumann senior Jenna Tuccio shot a 73 to win the individual region championship -- her first to go along with three district titles.