Girls Golf

Birdies Soar to Championship!

On Tuesday, November 8th, Stuyvesant’s girls golf team, the Birdies, defeated Bayside High School 4-1 in the PSAL Girls Golf Finals on a cool, windy, and brilliantly sunny day at Split Rock Golf Course in the Bronx. It was the Birdie’s second championship since the team’s inception in 2008.

Stuyvesant’s freshman sensation Sienna Hwang defeated Bayside’s Mina Kim 6 & 4 in match one, while Bayside’s Hailey Wong defeated sophomore Jade Chu in a much closer second match 2 up. Juniors Jaya Bijoor (5 & 4) and Stella Mai-Duquette (1 up) and sophomore Zoe Chun (7 & 5) completed the near sweep of a talented Bayside team.

“The difference was our depth,” said coach Emilio Nieves. “Though Sienna is a great addition to our team and made us deeper, she can only win one match, and we need three to win. We had the best staring five, as opposed to the best starting three or four.” Added Hwang: “The entire team played a really big role in winning this year.”

Indeed. Hwang, who finished second with a score of 80 at the Girls PSAL Individual Championship on October 19, also plays regularly on the Junior Met PGA Tour during the summer. Chu, who finished sixth at the PSAL Individual Championship, also plays regularly on the Junior Met PGA Tour, and Bijoor competes on the Connecticut Junior Met PGA Tour.  Rounding out the starting five are Duquette and Chun, both of whom play regularly over the summer with their dads.

Stuyvesant’s depth was made resoundingly clear during the first match of the season vs. division rival and perennial finalist Hunter College High School, who had reached the finals six years in a row, winning four.  Though Hwang lost to Sophia Li, who is the PSAL’s top player and two-time Girls Individual Champion, Chu, Duquette, and Chun won their matches, while Bijoor tied her match, leading Hunter’s coach, Greg Potter to admit, “You guys are really good.” A week later, the Birdies again defeated Hunter, this time in the rain and in a more convincing fashion, 4-1, putting the PSAL on notice that the Birdies were for real.

Despite finishing undefeated in the Bronx/Manhattan Division and placing second and sixth in the PSAL Girls Individual Championship, the Birdies were still seeded third, and with seemingly more to prove. The Birdies did just that by defeating Cardozo 5-0 in the quarterfinals, and in a tense and close semi-final, outlasted Fort Hamilton 3-2, setting up the championship match against Bayside. “We definitely left no doubt as to who the best team is,” said Nieves.

When asked about next season, Nieves said, “We expect to be contenders again, since we have the exact same team coming back. We won’t take anything for granted, however, and will continue to try to get better over the summer because next season, instead of being the hunters, we will be the hunted.”

The Birdies look fully armed for the challenge.

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