In preparation for the upcoming college season, Golfweek is breaking down the rosters of each of its preseason top 30 teams.
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No. 11 Virginia
2011-12 Golfweek rank: 21
Go-to girl: Brittany Altomare
Season outlook: If Virginia picks up where it left off at the NCAA Championship last spring, this team will fare just fine. There is too much talent, however, to have another winless season. With a quietly confident Brittany Altomare leading the way and a solid lineup behind her, Virginia should snag a tournament title or two before the postseason rolls around. And then, as the Cavaliers showed last year, who knows what could happen?
Virginia lost only one player, Lauren Greenlief, from the lineup that finished fourth at the NCAA Championship last season. Experienced returnees include seniors Altomare and Nicole Agnello, who battled a wrist injury last spring, along with juniors Elizabeth Brightwell and Portland Rosen, the latter now known for her first-round 66 and subsequent T-8 finish at the NCAA finals.
Sophomore Briana Mao also showed promise last season, and incoming freshman Alex Hershberger won the New Jersey Women’s Amateur this summer.
Head coach Kim Lewellen has a tight-knit group with level heads – that was proven last year when a scorecard mishap bumped the Cavs out of the first-round NCAA lead. Instead of blowing up, Virginia hung tough, finishing just four shots behind Alabama. If that’s any indication of the Cavs’ mettle, this season could hold big things.