The Collegian
Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Women's golf opens spring season, finishing 29th

Jillian Fraccola, '11 (L); and Lauren Folgosa, '10 (R)
Jillian Fraccola, '11 (L); and Lauren Folgosa, '10 (R)

The University of Richmond women's golf team finished 29th during the College of Charleston Invitational tournament in Kiawah Island, S.C., played from Feb. 22 to Feb. 24.

"We are currently ranked 138th against all other NCAA Division I Women's golf programs," said Leighann Albaugh, Richmond women's golf coach.

The golf team is the only team with a true "split season," Albaugh said. The invitational marked the beginning of the second half of the team's season. The golf team is also the only Richmond team, other than the football team, that plays in the Colonial Athletic Association conference instead of the Atlantic 10 Conference, she said.

The women's golf team is made up of eight players and the invitational was the first of four tournaments the team will compete in before the conference championship at the end of April, which will be held in Callaway Gardens, Ga.

In order to determine which players will compete in the team's tournaments, the women play nine holes of golf on Mondays and Fridays and then 18 holes of golf each Saturday. The five players with the best scores qualify to play in the tournament that week, junior captain Lauren Folgosa said.

"Last semester we had a pretty consistent top five," she said. "This semester, we have a pretty deep team. All eight players could potentially play, so it's pretty competitive to see who the five are."

Junior Victoria Kidder, sophomore Jillian Fraccola, freshman Jackie Evans, junior Anne Sprick and Folgosa played in the invitational this week.

The team has been focusing a lot on its putting and short game, Evans said.

"We've been practicing for the last couple of weeks, short game intensive, just getting ready to compete," Folgosa said.

Albaugh said: "Our greatest strength going into the College of Charleston Invitational [was] that as a southern school, we have had the opportunity to practice and play for the last few weeks. Our weakness is that we have not seen one of the two courses that we will be playing before."

The team stayed in condos at Kiawah Island for the tournament, Folgosa said.

During the tournament, the Spiders shot a 330 in the first round, a 310 in the second round and a 328 in the final round, totaling 968.

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Evans shot the lowest overall score for the Spiders. She tied for 87th with a 238, highlighted by a 1-over-par 73 during the second round. Folgosa finished 94th, one shot behind Evans with a score of 239.

The invitational in South Carolina had the largest field of any collegiate tournament with 43 teams competing, Albaugh said. Usually only 12 to 14 teams compete.

There's an individual winner and a team winner at each tournament, Folgosa said. Of the five players at the tournament, the four best individual scores were pooled together to make the total, she said.

"Our biggest competition this semester will probably be [the College of] William and Mary," Folgosa said. "That's the team we're really looking at to make sure that we are consistently up to par with them or beating them."

Albaugh said, "Conference-wise, the two teams to beat are Georgia State and UNC-Wilmington."

In addition to playing in the tournament with the largest collegiate field, the golf team will also play in two additional tournaments that it has not previously participated in, Albaugh said.

The Georgetown Hoya Invitational in Beallesville, Md., and the Eastern Kentucky University Lady Colonel tournament in Richmond, Ky., will be held this spring. The team also competed in the Towson Tiger Invitational in St. Michaels, Md., this fall.

"Our goal is to 'control the controllables,' meaning that we will be focused on controlling the things that we have immediate control over -- our preparation, attitude and focus," Albaugh said.

The team will try to avoid focusing on things that are out of its control such as the weather, bad breaks, slow play and what other teams and players are doing, she said.

Because it's the beginning of the season, the team has to make sure it plays as much as possible to "get back in the groove," Folgosa said.

Albaugh said, "Our main outcome goal is to finish in the top three at the CAA Conference Championship."

The women will compete next during the First Market Intercollegiate, which is hosted by William and Mary, on March 21.

Contact reporter Ryan Clark at ryan.clark@richmond.edu

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