The Homestead girls golf team is cruising into tournament time on a high note.
They finished the North Shore Conference mini-meet season unbeaten (5-0) and looked to lock up a defense of their league title in the 18-hole league finale that was held Sept. 20.
They also won the Whistling Straits Invitational on Sept. 13 and are starting preparations for another WIAA state tournament berth when regional play gets underway next week.
Veteran coach and newly appointed Homestead Assistant Athletic Director John Krueger is, needless to say, pleased with where the team is at this point.
"I'm pretty happy about the way the team is trending," he said. "We are in the mix with the top teams in the state when all of the girls play consistent and the way they are capable of. Down the stretch, we have some great experience up and down the lineup that will help us keep things in perspective and never take a shot for granted."
Heading into that league 18-hole finale held at Washington County on Sept. 20, the Highlanders held a five-point lead over Cedarburg, which finished second in all five league mini-meets. Furthermore, Speedy Kent held a two-shot advantage over teammate Isabelle Maleki for league medalist honors with Anne Schlageter sitting in sixth.
"If the girls take care of business, they will be able to accomplish one of their individual goals while the team fulfills the goal of being NSC champs," Krueger said. "I don't care what the sport is, conference championships are never easy, and we are going to have a great day on Tuesday to capture the title."
In that final league mini-meet at Fire Ridge on Sept. 15, the Highlanders posted a nine-hole score of 162 as Cedarburg was second with 177. Kent and Maleki had spectacular days as joint medalists with scores of 36, while Schlageter came in with a 44, Tinidy Pate 46 and Abbey Schneeberger 47.
In the nine-hole Whistling Straits Invite on the Irish Course in Kohler, the Highlanders put all five golfers in the top 10 en route to a winning total of 172. DSHA was second with a 190 score.
Maleki was second individually with a 39, while Kent was third with a 40. Pate came in with a 45, and Schlageter and Kate Glueckert each carded 48s.
Krueger noted that getting back to the WIAA state tournament will be a bit more challenging this season for his fourth-ranked Highlanders.
"The postseason will be different for us this year; we were moved out of our normal sectional, but the courses we will play are quite familiar," he said. "We will be at Wanaki for regionals (Sept. 28), and we host sectionals at MeeKwon (Oct. 4). Right now it looks like the teams with the best chance to come out of the sectional are (third-ranked) Franklin, (eighth-ranked) Brookfield Central and us.
"Having the meet (sectionals) at home will be nice, as opposed to driving at least an hour away as we have in the past. The girls and I are looking forward to the opportunity to make it back to Madison, but are never looking too far ahead, taking one shot at a time."