After the first day of competition at the CCCAA women's golf Southern Regional Championship, Irvine Valley is in the mix for one of the four spots at the State Championships.
The Lasers sit in third after the first round at Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills.
Cuyamaca College took a seven stroke lead over regional favorite Santa Barbara City College on the first day of the two-day, 36-hole championship.
The Coyotes, paced by a pair of 2-over-par 76's from Jule Loibl and Melanie Stark, built an early lead in the team standings as only six of the 60 golfers were able to break 80 on the lengthy, par-74 South course on Monday. Temperatures hovered around 94 degrees – and so did average scores (93.6) – as nearly one-third of the field shot triple-digit scores. Tuesday's round will be played on a shorter North course, with par still posted at 74.
Santa Barbara City College's Carolin Chang was the only under-par score of the day as she posted a 1-under-par 73. Teammate Vanessa Watkins added a 76 as the Vaqueros (326) will be chasing Cuyamaca (319) for the regional title.
Irvine Valley (353), Saddleback (360), and College of the Desert (366) are the next three teams vying for the other two team slots at next week's CCCAA State Championship event held in Morro Bay.
Irvine Valley was aided by an 83 from freshman Araceli Esquivel and an 85 by Orange Empire Conference MVP and sophomore Marisa Bhanubandh while Saddleback picked up twin 86's from Mekenzie Purcell and Deanna Pagaduan.
Michaela Klundt of Antelope Valley posted a 1-over-par 75 to currently sit in second place in the individual scoring just two strokes behind Chang. Lichi Liu of College of the Desert posted a 77.
The top four teams at the Southern Regional will advance to the CCCAA State Championship as well as the top six individuals not on those teams.
Competition should heat up on the North course on Tuesday as temperatures will again be in the mid-90's.