Amber Nguyen of Onalaska

Amber Nguyen of Onalaska

Looking back

2018 conference champion

Five of the six golfers in the Onalaska lineup broke 100 in the play-six, count-four format the Mississippi Valley Conference Championship as the Hilltoppers shot 348 and cruised to the team title at Fox Hollow Golf Course in La Crosse by 23 strokes over Tomah. Onalaska also claimed the season-long overall title with 71 points while Tomah finished second with 61.

2018 conference medalist

La Crosse Aquinas senior Annie Balduzzi shot 76 at Fox Hollow Golf Course in La Crosse to earn medalist honors at the Mississippi Valley Championship by six shots over Alyssa Achenreiner of Onalaska. Balduzzi also won the overall title with 86 points while Onalaska's Amber Nguyen (77.5) was second.

Top 2018 WIAA finishes

Team: Onalaska shot 375-357 at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament and, with a 36-hole total of 732, finished 10th out of 12 teams, 81 shots behind champion Kettle Moraine. Individual: La Crosse Aquinas senior Annie Balduzzi shot 74-80 at the WIAA Division 2 state tournament and, with a 36-hole total of 154, finished second, two shots behind champion Clair Phakamad of Appleton Xavier.

Looking ahead

Preseason top three

Onalaska, Tomah, Sparta.

Preseason all-conference

First team: Allison Balduzzi, so., Onalaska; Malia McGarry, jr., Onalaska; Amber Nguyen, jr., Onalaska; Sarah Peterson, sr., Tomah; Sophie Pokela, so., Tomah. 

Second team: Kya Bronston, so., Onalaska; Chloe Hoff, jr., Sparta; Josie Mathison, sr., Tomah; Abby Sherwood, sr., Tomah; Jayda Zhu, jr., Tomah.

What to watch

Tomah golfers served notice this summer that they were in it to win it this fall in the Mississippi Valley Conference by making their presence felt in several Wisconsin PGA Junior Tour points events, most notably the first Wisconsin Dells Junior Championship. One mini-meet into the season, the Timberwolves have gained the upper hand with a 180-184 win over four-time defending MVC champion Onalaska. "I hope we can take the conference title back from Onalaska," Tomah coach Tonya Gnewikow wrote in a preseason survey, acknowledging that the Hilltoppers might have the preseason pick for player of the year. "Amber Nguyen is probably the front-runner. However, a few of my ladies have that listed as an individual goal for them." Nguyen, Allison Balduzzi, whose sister Annie of La Crosse Aquinas has graduated to the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.), and Malia McGarry give Onalaska the top three returning golfers, but returning Tomah golfers occupied five of the next six spots on the 2018 MVC player-of-the-year standings. Sparta's Chloe Hoff is the top returning golfer not from Onalaska or Sparta.

Circle these dates

Sept. 3 — Brookfield Central/University Ridge Invitational (University Ridge GC-Madison). Sept. 6 — Mississippi Valley Conference Mini-Meet #2 (Forest Hills GC-La Crosse). Sept. 7 — Middleton Invitational (Pleasant View GC-Middleton). Sept. 9 — Mississippi Valley Conference Mini-Meet #3 (Cedar Creek-Onalaska). Sept. 16 — Mississippi Valley Conference Mini-Meet #4 (River Run GC-Sparta). Sept. 17 — Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Invitational (Trempealeau Mountain GC-Trempealeau). Sept. 20 — Mississippi Valley Conference Mini-Meet #5 (Hiawatha GC-Tomah). Sept. 23 — Mississippi Valley Conference Championship (Viroqua Hills GC-Viroqua).