The junior co-captains of the 2013 SCH girls’ golf team are Serena McNiff (left) and Morgan Schneer. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

While three-time defending champ Academy of Notre Dame was alone atop the Girls Inter-Ac League golf standings going into last week, the other schools were still scrambling for the lower places, so Springside Chestnut Hill Academy thought it might have a chance of knocking off visiting Baldwin School at Sunnybrook Golf Club last Monday.

Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the fired-up Baldwin Bears picked this occasion to produce their best team score of the season, beating SCH 247-279 and locking up second place in the league with a 5-3 match record.

The Devils still had one more chance to tab their first league victory of the season, but they were up against the aforementioned Notre Dame squad. In Tuesday’s bout at Sunnybrook, the visiting Irish won 225-297, wrapping up their fourth straight undefeated campaign in the Inter-Ac.

The Springside Chestnut Hill team has a new coach this spring, Nick Smith, but he is well known to all the players as a longtime member of the physical education faculty at the school.

There are no seniors at all on the 2013 roster, and the co-captains, Serena McNiff and Morgan Schneer, are both juniors. McNiff has two older brothers, John and Nick, who both played on the golf teams at the old Chestnut Hill Academy and then at SCH. Schneer’s older sister, Erica, was also an accomplished athlete at the school, but she spent her springs playing lacrosse. The younger Schneer is a defensive mainstay of the SCH field hockey team during the fall season.

Because the Blue Devils did not have a full complement of eight players last Monday (eight are designated to play for each team, and the scores of the top five count toward the team total), McNiff was the lone representative for SCH in the first group of golfers to proceed around the course.

Both of the scores turned in by the two Baldwin seniors in this threesome counted as part of the Bears’ team score. Maya Patel, a member of the Bears’ formidable squash team in the winter, fired a 48 to officially qualify for the Inter-Ac Individual Championships (an average of 50 or better is required), while her classmate, Charlotte Matthai, turned in a score of 51.

In the second group to finish up, Schneer shot a 57 and the third junior on the Blue Devils’ roster, Katie Shields, fired a 59 that was also included in the SCH team tally. Baldwin discarded the score of junior Brittany Bernstein, while her partner, freshman Caroline Rosen, rang up the best round of the afternoon, a 44. Rosen has also qualified for the league championships.

Out of the next foursome, SCH counted a 53 from freshman Maia Brown and a 56 from sophomore Maddie Nicol. Both Baldwin scores were officially included, as well; a 50 from freshman Julia McAleese and a 54 from senior Emilie Waché.

The final foursome was composed entirely of ninth graders. SCH rounded out its team score with a 54 from Marlene Savage, and did not use the results from Marina Tomlinson. With a good team score already in place, Baldwin was able to discard the individual rounds for both Quinn Funston and Sadie Seyed.

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