LAPORTE | Even though Chesterton and Valparaiso left shots on the course Saturday, both teams will have another chance to hone their skills.
The Trojans finished second and Valparaiso third at the LaPorte Regional, each punching their ticket to Friday's opening round of the state finals.
Highland's Allison Banasiak will also make the trip to the Legends Golf Course in Franklin, advancing as an individual with a personal-best 84.
Top-ranked Penn bested the field at 309.
"(334) at Beechwood is a good number," Chesterton coach Dale Hewitt said. "There was a few putts left out there, but they're playing well."
Hewitt said his goal is to advance to the second day of the state tournament, something his team couldn't quite do last season.
The Trojans got a big contribution from Kelly Grassel, who carded a 3-under-par 71 and won a medalist playoff with Penn's Kari Bellville.
"I was pretty happy with my round, overall. I made a lot of birdies," Grassel said.
Grassel eagled the par five 10th hole to highlight the day.
"I was about 60 yards from the green and I holed out," she said. "Then everybody started jumping up and down. That was a really cool moment."
Valparaiso finished at 357, led by Harley Dubsky's 77. The sophomore said whe wasn't happy with her day, particularly on the greens.
"Even if I two-putted or one-putted, it was just not very solid," she said. "My speed was off, then I kind of got speed and I kind of worked with it."
Dubsky spent time on the practice greens after her round putting with personal coach Mat Blair.
"The unfortunate part was that I was actually hitting the ball good," Dubsky said. "It's not like I was hitting spray shots everywhere, struggling. I was kind of frustrated (with my putting)."
Banasiak said she's playing the best golf of her life heading into the state finals.
"I'm so happy to advance to state," said Banasiak, who made her first regional appearance this year. "I just took every shot as it goes. Every shot is like a new round of golf for me, and I just kept my cool the whole time.
"I'm in my prime season right now. I'm just playing my game right now."
LaPorte's Ariana Mendez-Sota also shot an 84, but the Spanish foreign-exchange student was disqualified. Slicers coach Mark Wilson was accused of giving Mendez-Sota advice during her round, which would violate a new IHSAA rule. The ruling may be appealed Monday.
"I don't know if a coach said he saw me specifically give advice to the girl or if he saw me just talk to a girl," Wilson said. "I feel terrible for (Mendez-Sota). This was her one shot."