The Mt. Lebanon girls golf team has been competitive in matches despite getting off to an 0-3 start.
The Blue Devils lost by five strokes to South Fayette and three to Mars. Lebo also dropped a match to rival Upper St. Clair, but instead of losing by 29 and 39 strokes as they did a season ago, the Blue Devils only lost by eight.
“Therefore, we are happy with the fact that we are closing the gap between our scores and our opponents,” said Blue Devils coach Pete Bouvy. “As a team, I am expecting us to bounce back from our start and string some wins together. We are very close.”
The Blue Devils are approaching competitive status in the WPIAL with a blend of youth and seniority.
Sarah Cusick cards consistent scores while juniors Lindsey Powanda and Natalie Boyd are Lebo’s top performers.
Powanda was the WPIAL runner-up as a freshman and finished 10th in the WPIAL in 2019.
Bouvy expects Powanda and Boyd to be among the top performers at the WPIAL individual finals, which are scheduled to be held Oct. 8 at Oakmont Country Club.
“While the course will be a formidable challenge, I expect them to do their best and hopefully move on to regionals,” said Bouvy.
The Western Regional, which is the qualifier for the PIAA championships, is scheduled for Oct. 13 at Tom’s Run Golf Course in Blairsville. The state finals are set to be held Oct. 19-20 at Heritage Hills Golf Course in York.
Junior Karina Volitich and freshmen Anna Kushnir and Madeline Zerega round out Lebo’s line-up.
After back-to-back matches with Bethel Park, Sept. 9 and 11, the Blue Devils have a busy schedule against North Allegheny Sept. 14, Oakland Catholic Sept. 15 and USC Sept. 17.
Lebo’s rematch with South Fayette is Sept. 21 at Hickory Heights. The Blue Devils then travel to Valleybrook Country Club for a Tri-match with host Peters Township and Oakland Catholic before the WPIAL individual qualifiers Sept. 24 at Scenic Valley.
“We look for Lindsey and Natalie to score well at individuals. As for the team, we have a strong top two with a good supporting group that can put up some good, competitive scores,” Bouvy said. “It is all part of the learning process as we try to meld youth and experience.”
Golfing through a global pandemic has been an equally challenging endeavor for the Blue Devils.
“We are most grateful that we are able to compete this season,” Bouvy said. “After many months of being stuck at home without much to do, it is awesome to be able to spend a few hours on the course and take our minds away from the pandemic.”