Women's Golf

No. 7 Story of the Year - Leleaga Meredith wins CCCAA State Title

No. 7 Story of the Year - Leleaga Meredith wins CCCAA State Title

In leading up to the start of the 2015-16 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 24 with women's volleyball competing in the Azusa Pacific scrimmage tournament, the Laser athletic department is counting down the top 10 IVC sports stories from the 2014-15 school year.

At No. 7 on the list is an individual state title. Sophomore women's golfer Leleaga Meredith won a California Community College Athletic Association State Championship at Morro Bay Golf Course last fall. She did so after finishing third as an individual a year before as a freshman. Playing the tricky, and sometimes windy Morro Bay course, Meredith hit long over the two days and ran away from the field to capture medalist honors. She shot 75 the first day and then followed that up with a round of 72 with three birdies and 12 pars on the second day for a total of 147.

The Irvine Valley women's golf season ended on a high note.

Sophomore Leleaga Meredith won the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships individual title during the fall 2014 season at Morro Bay Golf Course.

Meredith ended up tied for second at the 2013 state championship event and took third overall after a card-off.

Playing the tricky, and sometimes windy Morro Bay course, Meredith hit long over the two days and ran away from the field to capture medalist honors.

On the opening day, Meredith had two birdies, 11 pars and five bogeys for a 3 over par score of 75.

She was in a four-way tie for first place after that first round.

But on the second day, Meredith was at a different level. She used three birdies, 12 pars and three bogeys to score an even par 72 in dominating her fellow competitors for the medalist honors.

April Chang (Sierra College) carded a 2-over-par 74 on Monday and finished as the state runner-up at 151. Citrus College teammates Jamie Lopez and Lexandra So finished third and fourth, respectively, after finishing the 36-hole championship event at 155. Lopez's 78 on Monday was the fourth-best score of the day.

Meredith was a two-year all-state, two-year all-regional and two-year all-Orange Empire Conference player for Irvine Valley.

IVC Coach Ben Burnett said Meredith was determined to go after the title this year. She was also inspired by a note earlier in the year by LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan. This came after her subpar round of in a tournament in Ventura.

"She has tour level air carry distances on her clubs," Burnett said of Leleaga's driving power ability from all over, including more than 250 yards on her driver and more than 210 yards with her three wood. "What she can do is just special."

Meredith was joined for the second straight year at the state championships by sophomore teammate Cindy Dang.

She had two birdies, eight pars and eight bogeys for a score of 78 on the opening round.

Dang's second round score included two birdies, seven pars, five bogeys, two double bogeys and one triple bogey. She tied for 10th with her two-day score.

As a team, IVC just missed out on making the state event.

They held a two-day lead on the first day of So. Cal. Regionals at the Temecula Creek Inn Resort.

But Irvine Valley ended up taking third and fell short by two strokes of making state as a team.

Burnett was pleased with the overall season.

"I felt that this was my best job of coaching a season with the IVC program," he said citing, specifically his work with the team's four freshmen players. "(Rebecca Peng, Liliana Gutierrez, Stuti Mandal and Rachel Watson) were receptive to my coaching and improved as the season went along.

"We barely missed on our plan to peak at the SoCal Regionals. Had we advanced, I feel that we had a chance to upset College of the Desert and capture another state championship."

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