Women's spring preview: Big West

Women's spring preview: Big West

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Women's spring preview: Big West

UC Riverside head coach Eric Riehle, in his first season as head coach, wanted to keep the fall schedule small and light for his women’s golf team.

Why?

“I knew that we had to get a new team system in place and all of our girls comfortable with the new routine,” said Riehle. “Moreover, I have found that my teams tend to progress and play better as the season goes along.”

It was a pretty steady season for the Highlanders as they finished fourth in all three tournaments. They were good finishes considering the fields were so big — 19, 11 and 17 — respectively.

Each tournament wasn’t a breeze, however.

At the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate, the women were T-11 after Round 1, sixth after Round 2 and then fired a third-round 300 to finish in fourth. Senior Amelia Ek finished in fourth place individually, becoming a senior leader both on and off the course for the Highlanders.

“From the beginning of the fall, we focused as a team on improving individual and team weaknesses on a daily basis and assured that all of the time that we spend on the golf course and in the gym was productive. As a coaching staff we have also placed an increased importance on tournament and golf course preparation,” said Riehle. “I believe that these, coupled with our seniors having tournament experience, have lead to our success so far this season.”

The team is a mix of four seniors and three underclassmen. That means only three players will be returning next year.

“It may sound like a setback, yet I can honestly say that I am very confident in the progression of this program,” said Riehle.

A different story occurred at the Santa Clara Colby Invitational. The Highlanders were in the lead after Round 1, but slipped back to, again, fourth place. Sophomore Savannah Vilaubi led UCR with a sixth-place finish as an individual.

Being in first place was a position that the team hadn’t been in for several years, and it is now something they are prepared for if they were to ever lead of a tournament again.

“In golf we know that players are significantly shaped by experiences and as a group we were inexperienced in that situation,” said Riehle. “It is however something that we have worked on, and I am confident that we would get the job done the next time we have a chance to win.”

In the third and final tournament, they were second after Day 1 and then finished in fourth.

“Our goals weren’t so much centered around results, but more about process, work ethic, having passion for the game and simply trying to get better each day,” said Riehle.

As Riehle said, it a process and if his theory of stays true, they are in for a great season this spring.

• • •

Where it stands now

Top of the class: UC Davis

Best player of the fall: Demi Runas, UC Davis

• • •

Past champions

2012: UC Davis

2011: UC Davis

2010: UC Davis

2009: Long Beach State

2008: UC Irvine

• • •

Conference Capsules

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