Now in her sixth season as the coach of the San Benito High girls golf team, Molly Orsetti is more excited than ever. The reasons are plenty, starting with the makeup of the current crop of Haybalers.
“This is a really good group of girls, and I love their enthusiasm,” she said.
The Haybalers have 20 players on the roster, including seven seniors, the most Orsetti has ever had. The team has tremendous balance as up to four players are capable of shooting the individual low round of the day.
More often than not this season, junior standout Julia Torrez has been the team’s low shooter or overall medalist in matches. Torrez’s meteoric ascent has impressed Orsetti.
“Julia didn’t play in her freshman year but started taking lessons, playing in tournaments and her demeanor is her strength,” Orsetti said. “I love looking at her from down the fairway because I can’t tell if she shot a 45 or a 55. She is not an emotional player, which is to her advantage.”
Orsetti said Torrez “came out of nowhere” in the Covid spring season and vaulted to the No. 1 spot. Her love for golf and steady outlook gives her a chance to shoot low in every round.
Orsetti also said Torrez possesses a beautiful swing and her motivation and drive are rubbing off on the rest of the team. Torrez and Kayla Ferry shared team-best honors by shooting 45 on the front nine at Ridgemark in the team’s 41-stroke win over Christopher High on Sept. 13.
The win improved San Benito to 2-2 in league play. Ferry needed just 15 putts over nine holes to complete her round, a remarkable achievement.
“That’s professional stats right there,” Orsetti said. “Kayla’s game has clicked and I love it. I’m really excited to see what she can do for the rest of the season.”
Alexis Montoya shot a 51 and needed only 19 putts in her round. Jenna Burdick shot a 52 and Brielle Higgins a 55 to complete the scoring. Montoya is excellent at two-putting, is positive and hits the ball consistently well, Orsetti said.
Burdick started the season on the junior varsity team but has come on strong, and Olivia Orsetti, the coach’s daughter, has made an impact and is co-captain along with Higgins.
“Olivia is a Steady Eddie type in that she quietly plays her game well and is dependable,” Molly said. “She hits the ball really long and her short game is pretty solid, too. It’s super fun for me to be able to coach her and all the players including Brielle, who are inclusive and super supportive of the younger girls on the team.”
Isabella Gho and Mylah Dunn have also put up some strong rounds this season. The Balers placed 10th out of 17 teams playing a full 18-hole round at the famed Olympic Club in San Francisco in the first tournament of the season. Torrez led the way with an 84 and Gho a 98 as everyone on the team shot a personal best.
“Just a spectacular way to start the season,” Orsetti said.
San Benito would’ve been even stronger with senior Brianna Mulcahy, who is out for the season with an injury.
“She was going to be a top three player,” Orsetti said.
Giavanna Felice is another newcomer with little experience but has made a rapid improvement. Orsetti said she’s had some terrific assistant coaches over the years, and this year’s addition of Tomi Marques might be the best one yet.
“Tomi is a scratch golfer in her own right, so having her is great because she can help with a lot of scoring strategy and bring a new level to our coaching staff,” Orsetti said.