A sibling rivalry continues 

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Golfing at UVU brings sisters together

Jace Patrick | Sports writer | @JaceAnytime

Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics

Cassandra and Isabella Lesa traded their love for the sand of the beaches of Kaneohe, Hawaii, for the loathing of the sand surrounding the greens in Orem, Utah.  Cassandra, a senior at Utah Valley University, left her home in Hawaii to play golf for the Wolverines three years ago.Cassandra Lesa From Athletics Isabella, a freshman at UVU, recently joined her sister and the team and will take a redshirt for the Wolverines in 2015-16.

The Lesa sisters’ passion for golf was sparked by their father’s love for the game while also competing in out-rigger canoeing competitively for a couple of years.  The island of Kaneohe also provided the enjoyment of taking hikes and snorkeling, which they still enjoy when they return home for the winter and summer vacations.

Cassandra, who is finishing her degree in marketing, met Coach Nyhus three years ago while attending a college preview at BYU Hawaii. It worked out nicely to move to Utah because of family connections Cassandra already had established. Then Isabella, who is beginning her degree in business, followed in her sister’s footsteps three years later.

In her freshman year, Cassandra competed in eight tournaments leading the team in eagles and ending with two top-10 finishes placing eighth at the Weber State Wildcat Invitational and fifth at the PGA Minority Championship in St. Lucie, Fla.  In Cassandra’s junior year, she played in all 11 tournaments and took second place at the Pizza Hut Lady Thunderbird Invitational on March 12-13.  Cassandra recorded three top-10 finishes on the season and led the team with a 78.37 scoring average and was the team’s top finisher in five of the 11 tournaments.

Isabella joined the team this year and is looking to follow in her older sister’s footsteps stating that the sibling rivalry between the two of the sisters has taught her a lot on the course and off the course.

“It is usually us against our dad,” Isabella said.

“We didn’t beat him very often when we were younger,” Cassandra said.  “He is a pretty good player.  But I think I have a few strokes on him now.”

Isabella humbly turns to her sister and gives Cassandra the title of being the better golfer.

“I’ve been playing a little while longer than Bella competitively, but she is a good golfer,” Cassandra said.  “She can hit it far.”

As many people know, living with a sibling in close quarters can be difficult. The Lesa sisters say that their situation at times is no different but for Isabella, it is the learning experience that she enjoys.

“I see how she handles things between juggling school and golf and I get to learn things about golf that others don’t get to learn by having their sister on the team,” Isabella said.

Having an older sister who has been playing for three years at Utah Valley University can leave big shoes to fill but Isabella is thankful for the example her sister has set.

“I just try to take every experience on the golf course and off as a learning experience,” Isabella said.  “Whether it is a good one or a bad one, just learning and seeing how she comes away from everything.”