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Sidney battles wind at Alliance to finish fourth

Six Raiders head to Best of the West round this week


With a cold wind to greet them, the Sidney Red Raiders golfers struggled against the conditions at the Sky View Golf Course at the Alliance Invite on Saturday.

Rachel Petik handled the weather well enough to earn a ninth-place medal with an 89. As a team, however, the Raiders struggled to a 385, which put them in fourth place. Scottsbluff again took top honors with a 336 total while McCook (370) and Gering (371) were second and third.

Behind Petik's 89 for Sidney was Katelin Cole (97), who rallied from a front side 53 to post a 44 on the back. Jessica Campbell (99), Karson Langley (100) and Megan Neal (115) rounded out the varsity scores for Sidney.

"It was pretty chilly out there but my round could have been better," Petik said. "It wasn't the conditions though. I need to trust my swing more."

For Campbell and Langley it was their highest scores of the season. Campbell recently turned in an 84. Langley, meanwhile, has on multiple occassions carded Sidney's best score.

As for the long hitting Campbell, she felt challenged by the windy conditions.

"It's pretty simple, I didn't have enough low numbers," Campbell said. "The wind makes me a little nervous. It gets in my head too much."

Campbell said she struggled on the greens more than usual too. But the the wind played no part in that. "That's my own fault," she said.

In the Division II competition Sidney's Rachel Blauert's score of 96 was good enough to take a third-place medal. Her mark included a 45 on the back nine. Theda Parker also medaled, as her 101 put her in sixth place. Though not her best, sophomore Taylor Parsons turned in a solid round for the conditions with a 117.

As for the sophomore Blauert, her inexperience in cold and windy condiditons didn't worry her too much. She came to the match well prepared.

"My Dad gave me these big gloves which I put on between every shot," she said.

The warm hands helped her shoot her best score ever on the Sky View course. Her previous best had been 101.

With the conclusion of the Alliance Invite the Raiders regular season is officially over. On Wednesday, however, six of the Raiders will participate in the Best of the West Tournament at Monument Shadows Golf Course in Gering. In order to quality for that event, a player must have broken 100 in competition.

The Best of the West qualifiers for Sidney Include Blauert, Campbell, Cole, Langley, Parker and Petik.

In eight days the Raiders will return to Sky View for the district tournament scheduled for Tues. Oct. 8, at 9 a.m.

Generally, Raiders Coach Jody O'Connell has the junior varsity players compete in a nine-hole match to determine who will take the fifth spot in the next varsity match. For the district tournament, however, she has already made up her mind.

"Rachel (Blauert) will play at districts. She's had the lowest average this year. She's earned it," O'Connell said.

In order to qualify for the state tournament as a team, Sidney will have to be third or better at districts. Though Sidney finished fourth at Alliance, it is their worst showing of the year. While Scottsbluff has routinely finished on top in matches this year, Sidney has beaten McCook and Gering on multiple occassions - sometimes by a wide margin.

"It will probably take a 360 to 365 to make state," O'Connell said. "If all the girls shot a 90 each that would be good enough."


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