GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sitting in fifth place and trailing No. 15 Virginia Tech by seven strokes after Thursday’s opening 36 holes of play at the ACC Championships, the No. 12 Virginia women’s golf team needed a stellar final round to leapfrog the Hokies and grab one of the four berths to the event’s match play finals. That’s exactly what the Cavaliers did.
UVA shot a final-round score of 2-under 286 at Sedgefield Country Club to claim fourth place, two shots ahead of Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers completed stroke play at 12-over 876 while the Hokies were fifth at 14-over 878, shooting 7-over during the third round.
“Our team embraced the challenge again today,” said Virginia coach Ria Scott. “The hole locations were as tough as we’ve seen all week, and our team really stepped up.”
UVA’s 2-under score matched No. 2 Duke for Friday’s best final round. The Blue Devils took first place in stroke play at 11-under 853 while No. 3 Wake Forest was second at 856 and No. 5 Florida State was third at 871.
Virginia was led during the final round by freshman Jennifer Cleary (Wilmington, Del.) who shot a career-best 3-under 69 to place 11th at 1-over 217. Sophomore Celeste Valinho (Jacksonville, Fla.) was 15th at 218 while junior Riley Smyth (Cary, N.C.) was 22nd at 222. Valinho shot 73 on Friday while Smyth shot even par 72.
Senior Beth Lillie (Fullerton, Calif.) was 24th at 223 and sophomore Virginia Bossi (Como, Italy) was 41st at 232. Lillie finished with a 72 while Bossi carded a final-round score of 81.
“Getting into this position always requires a team effort,” Scott said. “We are especially proud of Jennifer Cleary and Celeste Valinho, who were our anchors in stroke play today. Those were amazing performances considering this week is their first time seeing Sedgefield and its challenging greens. Now, we are excited to wipe the slate clean and head into match play tomorrow.”
The Cavaliers will face Duke in the match play semifinals while Wake Forest and Florida State square off in the other match. The winners will advance to Sunday’s finals.
Sedgefield Country Club
Par 72, 6,089 yards
Final Stroke Play Results
1. Duke 286-281-286-853
2. Wake Forest 288-277-291-856
3. Florida State 288-289-294-871
4. Virginia 297-293-286-876
5. Virginia Tech 294-289-295-878
6. Clemson 293-304-293-890
7. Miami 301-299-297-897
7. Louisville 304-296-297-897
9. North Carolina 296-299-316-911
10. NC State 301-315-312-928
10. Notre Dame 313-304-311-928
12. Boston College 307-312-318-937
1. Gina Kim, Duke 68-69-69-206
2. Beatrice Wallin, Florida State 67-71-71-209
3. Rachel Kuehn, Wake Forest 70-71-70-211
11. Jennifer Cleary 74-74-69-217
15. Celeste Valinho 76-69-73-218
22. Riley Smyth 71-79-72-222
24. Beth Lillie 76-75-72-223
41. Virginia Bossi 76-75-81-232