WESTFIELD, IN – Playing its best golf of the week, the 25th-ranked Virginia women’s golf team finished fourth at the NCAA Regional in Westfield, Ind., to advance to the NCAA Championships.
UVA was led by sophomore Amanda Sambach who shared medalist honors at 13-under 203. Sambach was this year’s ACC individual champion. Mississippi State’s Julia Lopez Ramirez, the SEC individual champion, also finished at 203.
The Cavaliers shot a season-best 10-under 278 during Wednesday’s final round for a three-day total of 15-under 849. UVA’s single-round and team scores were the best for an NCAA Regional in program history.
Sambach posted a final round score of 4-under 68. Her 54-hole score was the best ever by a Cavalier at an NCAA Regional site. She was one shot off the school record (-14, 202) she used to win the ACC title. Sambach enters the NCAAs having played her last six rounds at 27-under-par.
“We are very proud of the team’s performance this week, and especially today,” said head coach Ria Scott. “They really came through when it mattered most. They all hit lots of greens this week. Aside from Amanda, the squad just couldn’t get anything to drop in those first couple of rounds. It was nice to see things come together today.
“They got more and more comfortable with the course with each round, and are trending in the right direction. I am proud of each and every one of our student-athletes. They know it will take a full team effort for more success this postseason. We are excited to head back to Grayhawk with a squad that is very experienced there.”
Sambach becomes the third Cavalier to finish first at an NCAA Regional. Calle Nielson was the first to accomplish the feat, placing first in 2010 at the West Regional at Stanford. In 2016, Elizabeth Szokol shared first-place honors, also at the Stanford Golf Course.
“Amanda continues to play impressive golf,” Scott said. “She was able to put up great numbers without perfection. She has a confidence and ease about her on the course that is reassuring to her teammates.”
Virginia’s Celeste Valinho and Megan Propeck also shot 4-under 68 during the final round. Valinho finished 13th at 4-under 212 while Propeck was 21st at 2-under 214. That was Propeck’s best 18-hole score as a collegiate. Rebecca Skoler rounded out the Cavaliers scoring with a 2-over 74. She finished 37th at 5-over 221. Jennifer Cleary was 52nd at 226.
Virginia will be making its 13th appearance at the NCAA Championships in the 20-year history of the program. Last year the Cavaliers were 15th at the NCAAs.
The NCAA Championships will be held at at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., May 19-24. The 54-holes of stroke play begin Friday, May 19. The tournament consists of three days of stroke play on Friday thru Sunday (54 holes), after which the top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team will be determined. That will be followed by a final day of 18 holes of stroke play (Monday) to determine the top eight teams that will advance to match play as well as the 72-hole individual champion. The team national champion will be determined by a match-play format that will consist of quarterfinals and semifinals conducted on Tuesday, followed by the finals on Wednesday.
NCAA Westfield Regional
The Club at Chatham Hills
Par 72, 6,300 yards
1. Mississippi State 280-275-290-845
2. Oregon State 286-277-284-847
3. Vanderbilt 287-282-279-848
4. Virginia 287-284-278-849
5. Tulsa 279-292-284-855
6. Iowa State 286-288-286-860
7. Tennessee 288-294-281-863
7. Xavier 289-285-289-863
9. Michigan 283-294-289-866
10. Oregon 294-291-288-873
11. Morehead State 296-302-293-891
12. Lipscomb 299-301-296-896
1. Amanda Sambach, Virginia 69-66-68-203|
1. Julia Lopez-Ramirez, Mississippi State 67-66-70-203
2. Hannah Levi, Mississippi State 68-66-70-204
3. Celina Sattelkau, Vanderbilt 69-66-71-206
1. Amanda Sambach 69-66-68-203
13. Celeste Valinho 72-72-68-212
21. Megan Propeck 73-73-68-214
37. Rebecca Skoler 73-74-74-221
52. Jennifer Cleary 73-73-80-226