State tournament turns out to be family affair
SAVOY – As her 9:18 a.m. tee time approached Monday, Centennial freshman Lizzy Dombroski's stomach was doing backflips.
It was nothing a couple of Tums couldn't handle. But the real stomach-churning took place after the round.
Dombroski's 84 on the UI Orange Course during the Class 2A sectional figured to put her in contention to earn a berth in this weekend's state tournament. The top eight finishers (plus ties) who were not on the two advancing teams earned a spot at state.
So Dombroski had to wait ... and wait ... and wait. For a couple of hours, she had plenty in common with those NCAA basketball teams on Selection Sunday.
"I was trying not to pay attention to it," she said. "Just hoping for the best."
It turned out for the best. Dombroski's 84, along with older sister Jenna's 80, were good enough to send both players to Friday's tournament at Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center in Carbondale.
It will be a family affair.
"I knew I was playing really solid, and after the front nine, it kind of let off a little bit of pressure," said Jenna, who tied for 23rd at the 2006 state meet. "But I was still so anxious to see how my sister was doing. She shot 84, and as I saw the other scores come in, I was just hoping she was going to be able to go down there and share it with me this year. We're excited."
Jenna's 4-over-par 80 was good for a third-place tie. Springfield's Hannah Bachman was medalist with a 75.
Jenna Dombroski had a 36 on the front. She accomplished one of her daily goals: She didn't have a double bogey.
Monday's effort was in contrast to last week's regional, in which Dombroski shot 86 and the Chargers surprisingly did not make it out as a team, falling 1 stroke short.
That provided some incentive Monday.
"There were so many opportunities at regionals that none of us took advantage of," Jenna said. "We all thought it would be a cakewalk, and we got our butts handed to us. I think we all kind of snapped out of it and worked a little bit this week."
Centennial junior Krista Vedvik also had a solid outing, shooting 89, 5 strokes from the state-qualifying cut.
"I think it was a wakeup call for us," Centennial coach Darren Tee said of the regional result. "I think we were confident we could play this course the way we needed to. We had a great day."
Even if her score had not been good enough to advance, Lizzy Dombroski said she would have been pleased with Monday's effort. After all, it far exceeded her preseason expectations.
"At the beginning of the year, I had expectations, but I didn't really look this high," she said. "And I just worked really hard this year. Toward the end of the year, my goal kept getting higher and higher. I am really excited that I am going to be able to have this chance."
Champaign Central's Carissa Hoyne fired a 92.
Marion (330) and Edwardsville (337) advanced.