RIPON -- After Acalanes High golfer Elizabeth Schultz fell just short of qualifying for the state tournament last year, she entered this season seemingly on a mission.
The hard-working senior finished second at the CIF Northern California championships Monday at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club, and will make her debut in the state tournament on Nov. 20 at Quail Lodge Golf Club in Carmel.
Schultz shot a 1-over 74 in windy conditions to finish one shot behind medalist Michelle Xie of Palo Alto. Carondelet's Sabby Virtusio, who carded a 6-over 79 and finished tied for fifth among the individual qualifiers, also earned her first trip to the state championships.
The top three teams and additional top nine individuals not on those teams qualified for the CIF tournamnent.
Amador Valley placed third with a five-player total of 444. St. Francis-Mountain View won the team title a 423, and Palo Alto was second at 429.
Amador Valley will make its fourth trip to state after qualifying in 2005, 2010, and 2011.
North Coast Section Division I team champion Dougherty Valley finished sixth with a 451 score, and Mission San Jose was fourth, four shots behind Amador Valley.
Amador Valley coach Clark Fuller said players struggled on the tough, tree-laden course with narrow fairways. Amador Valley's top player, Kimberly Liu, didn't have her best day. She shot a 10-over 83, but still became the Dons' first player to advance to state in all four years, three times with the team and once as an individual.
"Very surprising," Fuller said of his team's advancing. "Surprising getting through last week. The kids are playing better golf late in the year. The kids are very excited."
Acalanes coach Tim Scott enjoyed getting to watch Schultz play for much of her round. In other recent tournaments, he had other responsibilities and couldn't focus on his own players.
He marveled at her length off the tee and versatility.
"Some people can only get it one direction, just draw or fade," Scott said. "She can hit all the shots. Her short game and putting, she's an outstanding putter. I know she didn't feel top notch today. She had a cold, but she persevered out there. It was fun to watch. I know she felt she could have done better."
Schultz, who competed as an amateur in the U.S. Women's Open in June, is headed to San Jose State. Spartans coach John Dormann was on hand to watch Schultz on Monday.
CIF Northern California championships
At Spring Creek CC, par 73
Team scores: St. Francis-Mountain View* 423, Palo Alto* 429, Amador Valley* 444, Mission San Jose 448, Gunn 449, Dougherty Valley 451, Rocklin 452, St. Francis-Sacramento 455, East Union 477, Chico 541, Pleasant Valley 608.
Top 20 individual results: 73 -- Xie (Palo Alto); 74 -- Schultz* (Acalanes); 76 -- Riley* (East Union); 77 -- Hoffman* (Vista Del Lago), Sangha* (San Mateo); 79 -- Scavo* (Justin-Siena), Virtusio* (Carondelet), Wang (St. Francis); 80 -- Sarathy* (Gunn), Corriveau* (Santa Catalina); 81 -- Gelbova (Valley Christian), Velasquez* (Roseville); 82 -- Zhou (Gunn); 83 -- Liu (Amador Valley), Hirsch (Mission San Jose), Gosti (MSJ), Kawagichi (Los Altos), Wagg (Rocklin), Denekoff (Pleasant Grove).
* Advances to CIF championships