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Girls Golf: 2016 South Season Recap

Written by Joe Koch on .

Peters Township High standout golfer Mia Kness has enjoyed a solid career with the Indians. Perhaps, the one thing that experience has taught her is that a career is not defined by one disappointment.

Kness displayed a determined attitude once the championship events of the high school season began.

Following a second-place finish at the WPIAL 3A individual championship, the senior turned on the jets with two stellar titles in the high school season's final two events.

Kness finished one stroke behind talented North Allegheny sophomore Caroline Wrigley with a a 4-over-total of 76 at Treesdale Golf and Country Club on Oct. 5, 2016.

"I just hit bad shots, and I was penalized because it's such a tough track," Kness said. "I took a couple of bad shots, and I paid for it with [double bogeys]."

Kness, though, more than made up for that in both the Western Regional and PIAA 3A individual championship.

At the regional event at Blairsville's Tom's Run Golf Course, Kness and Pine-Richland sophomore Lauren Freyvogel fired matching 1-under-par rounds of 71 and went to a playoff. Kness won the playoff on the second hole, and both of them qualified for the PIAA 3A individual championship along with four other qualifiers. Every qualifier was from a WPIAL school, but Wrigley missed the cut by four strokes.

Kness needed a consistent effort to be successful at the PIAA 3A individual championship, and that's exactly what she got as she fired matching rounds of 72 to finish with an even-par total of 144 for the two-day event.

This time, though, she didn't have to play an extra hole or two as she finished two strokes ahead of Conestoga sophomore Samantha Yao. The result was the case of the West's best golfer beating the East's best golfer as Yao entered the state tournament as the top qualifier from the East region.

Freyvogel has plenty to look forward to as the sophomore was the next-highest finisher from the West region. She placed fourth overall with a nine-over-par total of 153 for the two-day event. She shot a 75 in the first round and a 78 on the second day.

Waller, Rugola enjoy solid efforts in tournament golf: Two of the top female golfers will have at least one more opportunity to compete for the sport's highest honor in 2017.

Canon-McMillan junior Taylor Waller and Uniontown sophomore Dane Rugola competed in the sport's highest level, and both of them turned in solid efforts.

Waller, who competes during the regular season for Canon-McMillan's boys golf team, finished fourth at the WPIAL 3A individual championship with a 9-over-par total of 81. Rugola was right behind her with an 82.

Both qualified for the Western Regional at Blairsville's Tom's Run Golf Course, and both had better performances.

Waller finished in a third-place tie with North Allegheny sophomore Christina Lewis. Each shot 3-over-par totals of 75. And, once again, Rugola was one stroke behind Waller with a 76. That score was just enough to earn Rugola a trip with five other qualifiers to the PIAA 3A individual championship at York's Heritage Hills Resort.

At the final, Rugola got the better of Waller. The Uniontown sophomore shot a two-day total of 157 to finish in sixth place. Waller placed ninth with an 18-over-total of 162 in the two-day event.

The top five finishers received medals, so both missed out on that honor.

Two of the top five finishers, however, have graduated. So, there is plenty of incentive for both golfers going into the 2017 season.