South Tama's Van Dyk sisters watched every shot each other took at the Dike-New Hartford meet Thursday as they led the Trojans to victory.
Senior Taylor Van Dyk and sophomore Paige Van Dyk were paired together for the tournament. They battled back and forth for nine holes, but in the end, they tied for first place. Together, their scores of 39 helped STC beat Dike-New Hartford for the team title.
"They have a little sisterly competition," head coach Kelle Boles said. "They also bring each other up as they play, too."
South Tama scored 178 as a team, while Dike-New Hartford shot 188. The Trojans posted the top three scores with senior Kourtne Smith shooting a 45 to finish third.
"We played really well yesterday," Boles said. "Even on the Tuesday we played Grinnell, our 181 would most likely beat anyone else. The girls played well yesterday. The Van Dyks shot very well and Kourtne Smith is always right up there."
The Van Dyk sisters shot evenly through the first two holes. On the third, a part five, Taylor grabbed a one-stroke lead, which was lost on the next hole as Paige won the fourth hole by one.
Paige won the fifth hole by two strokes and took a two-shot lead over her sister. However, the older Van Dyk fought back with back-to-back pars to tie her sibling. They both shot par on the final two holes to tie at 39.
"Taylor is so even going, calm and doesn't let a whole lot of things bother her," Boles said. "Where Paige is a little bit more quicker. It just shows the maturity in the two girls.
"We'll be in some tournaments where they will be in their No. 1 or No. 2 pairings," she said. "In the bigger meets, they will be apart."
Smith's 45 was the third-best scored posted at the meet. She beat a pair of Dike-New Hartford players by one shot. Senior Amelia Hoskey was the fourth and final score to count for the Trojans. She shot 55 for the round.
"The rest of the team played well," Boles said. "We had one girl that struggled. Halverson is playing the best that she's ever played. Carrie Cibula had a bad first meet, but she came back with a really nice score yesterday. Amelia Hoskey has dropped almost 10 strokes from the beginning of the season. We've kind of figured something out and hope she continues it."
The Trojans lone returning player from state is Taylor Van Dyk. She's placed in the top 10 the past two years at state. This year's squad, which features five seniors, is aiming to send the whole squad to state.
"We're hoping to take a team this year," Boles said. "We want to get everybody there. We have the talent, we just have to get it done. Our goal is to shoot better each and other meet. It seems to be working, but we've only had two meets.
"I have a very mature group of girls that have played the game and worked on the game," she said. "They've all evolved in a nice fashion. These seniors have worked hard and they deserve a state title. We can get to the state tournament if we continue to do our principles and our quality of play that we're playing at right now."