Led by senior standout Julia Torrez, the Hollister High girls golf team is having another solid season on the links.
Torrez shot an even par 36 against Notre Dame-Salinas in the season-opener at Ridgemark, a score that seventh-year coach Molly Orsetti believes is a school record. Torrez also shot a 2-over par 38 on the front nine at Ridgemark in the Haybalers’ 235-280 win over Pacific Grove on Sept. 13 and a 39 in a league match on Sept. 29.
On Sept. 15, the team played at famed Spyglass in Pebble Beach, where Torrez shot a 47 and Alexis Montoya a 49 on the tough course. Montoya has also been a gamer, shooting 45 on 18 putts in Hollister’s narrow three-stroke loss to Salinas on Sept. 22.
Olivia Orsetti, the coach’s daughter, and Mylah Dunn have been solid throughout in filling the top four spots in the lineup. Katie Harvey, Marissa Dunn, Jenna Burdick, Amoriah Perez and Daniela Arias have all had their moments in filling the Nos. 5-6 spots, though the team is currently missing Harvey, who suffered a wrist injury after she shot a personal-best 53 in the second week of the season.
Though challenging, Orsetti has enjoyed the season, knowing it’s never easy for a team to excel a year after graduating seven seniors. It helps to have an ace at the top of the lineup in Torrez, who has been on a tear from the get-go. A year-round golfer, Torrez has been the medalist in the majority of the team’s matches.
“She keeps shooting low and keeps breaking 40,” Orsetti said. “If she keeps this up, she’s easily top 5 in the league. I’m super impressed with the work Julia put in the off-season. She played all summer and has totally matured as a player. She’s getting the confidence she needs to go low and take it to the next level.
Her tempo is perfect and she can maintain it even when competition and conditions are tough. And she has a really good ability to hit greens in regulation, so her shots are really precise. Her precision for approach shots is really helping her go low. ”
Montoya shot a career-best 45 at Ridgemark in the Salinas match on Sept. 22. The senior has been consistent, shooting all but one round in the mid-40s.
“Alexis came out of the gate shooting lower than last year,” Orsetti said. “She can hit her driver on a rope and because of that, she doesn’t get in a lot of trouble.”
The team served as standard bearers—volunteers who hold mobile signs with the scores of the group they are walking with—during the Carmel Cup at Pebble Beach on Labor Day weekend. The tournament featured the top eight women’s golf teams in the country, and was a two-day, 36-hole event.
“I think it really inspired our girls and motivated them, just seeing these collegiate players and how deliberate they are in their routine, shotmaking, pace and focus,” Orsetti said. “They can still be friendly with fellow competitors, but it didn’t take away their focus from the game.”
Orsetti was proud of Montoya for striking up conversations with a variety of golfers and teams, most notably Stanford, which is the defending NCAA champion and has the best player in college golf in Rose Zhang.
“Alexis is a personality and by the end of the tournament, our team was friends with Stanford,” Orsetti said. “At the end, our girls were getting pictures taken with Stanford, and they invited our team up to watch their tournament at CordeValle (in spring 2023). That was really cool and it was because Alexis is a really friendly personality. She was the one that started talking to them, made contact and formed relationships.”
Orsetti is cherishing her final season coaching her daughter Olivia, who ranks fourth on the team with a 52 scoring average. Torres ranks first at 41.6, Montoya second at 48.2 and Mylah Dunn third at 49.
“Olivia is hanging in there, she’s steady and I can always count on her,” Molly said. “I know what I’m going to get from her. She hits it long and pretty straight off the tee. It’s been fun watching her.”
Molly was particularly moved when she was able to walk Spyglass in the Stevenson match. Her parents were in town from Washington and they all got to walk the course together and see Olivia and the team in action.
“The first five holes which I think are the greatest opening five holes in golf and the four of us together was truly memorable for me,” Molly said.
Dunn, a junior, made big improvements in the off-season and has been “crushing it” off the tee, Orsetti said. Burdick, Perez and Arias have all contributed nicely, with Arias being tremendously consistent on and off the course.
“Daniela has been super positive and at practice all the time,” Orsetti said. “She has a good attitude, her swing is there, she’s got a lot of power and is working on controlling it. She’s working on the kinks and showing up.”
Orsetti has been proud of the players for how much they’ve improved from the beginning of the season.
“With it being a building year we have some trials because we don’t have the depth we used to have, but I see a lot of potential for the future,” she said.