Empire sports notebook: Cardinal Newman golfers soaring

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The Cardinal Newman girls golf team has run off to a 5-0 start behind the stellar play of junior Abby Leighton. The defending North Bay League-Redwood Division and North Coast Section Division 2 champion, Leighton came into the season fresh from her win at the 70th annual California Junior Girls’ State Championship tournament in Carmel.

Leighton and company then set a new school record for lowest team score with a 197 in their 9-hole match against Montgomery at Bennett Valley Golf Course Sept. 12.

Leighton shot a 35 on the day, as did freshman Gabby Sinatra. Freshman Lillie Dayton shot a 38; Tori Leighton, a sophomore, shot a 43; and freshman Samantha Simpkins and senior Lorena Polizziani shot 46 and 48, respectively.

The Cardinals are scheduled to play an away match at Windsor on Thursday. Cardinal Newman beat the Jags 215-299 the first time the two teams met Sept. 10.

SRJC women's cross country team masters meet

The Santa Rosa Junior College women’s cross country team ran to a convincing first-place finish at the Lou Vasques Meet in Golden Gate Park on Thursday.

The Bear Cubs scored 38. Second place was Modesto Junior College at 61. The Bear Cubs were led by sisters and El Molino grads Jackie and Evelin Ramirez, who finished the 3.1-mile course in fifth and eighth in 20 minutes, 22 seconds and 20:42.

Katrina Frandsen, a Santa Rosa High grad, finished ninth in 21:01; Bria Keelty, another Panther, finished 10th in 21:06 and Gris Alonso-Soto from Cloverdale finished 22nd in 21:55.

On the men’s side, Bailey Williams, a graduate of Technology High, finished the 4-mile course in 22nd in 22:10; Piner High grad Nathan Hayes took 30th in 23:01; and Rincon Valley Christian grad Zach Passalaqua finished in 38th at 23:18 to lead the men’s team to a fifth-place finish.

It was the first meet of the season for the Bear Cubs. Next up is the Toro Park Invitational in Salinas Oct. 4.

Sonoma State volleyball soaring

The Sonoma State Seawolves volleyball team is riding a 9-3 start to the season heading into a home game against Humboldt State at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Seawolves are coming off of a 3-1 home win over Cal Poly Pomona Sept. 21. Kiana Richardson, a sophomore from Clear Lake High, had 17 kills along with three blocks — both team bests on the day.

Maria Carrillo grad and SSU senior Caiti Wiesner led the team with five aces and had 10 digs. Teammate Ashleigh Phelps from Turlock led the team with 27 digs.

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