Highlander Athletics
Courtesy of Highlander Athletics

Head coach Mary Ritchie’s squad earned a first-place finish at the Grand Canyon Invitational, beating out a field that included 21 teams. Competing in the three-day, 54-hole tournament, the Highlanders, who are ranked No. 61 in the nation, took the lead finishing with a total of 295 on the first day of play. The second day was a bit more challenging as the other teams had fairly similar scores; however, UC Riverside still managed to maintain the lead with a score of 306.

The final round came and the Highlanders gave it their all, ending as first-place champions with a total score of 895. The runner-up, hosting Grand Canyon, finished eight strokes behind. Savannah Vilaubi led UCR, firing a 74 all three days and finishing in a tie for third place with a total of 222. Three other Highlanders who finished in the top 20 were Brittany Ferraro who tied for seventh, Hannah Facchini who tied for 12th and Haley Wian who tied for 19th.

The women’s golf team has been having a solid 2014-15 season so far. In the fall, UCR took home the first-place victory at the Santa Clara Colby Classic. The Highlanders now prepare to hopefully acquire more victories and will hit the road March 8 for the Bay Area Intercollegiate in Fairfax, Calif.

The men’s golf team also competed in a three-day tournament at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate. The Highlanders finished in 15th place out of 24 teams, tied with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and San Francisco.

On the first day the Highlanders shot a total of 294 and were ranked 12th. The second day UCR was able to maintain the 12th lowest score with a total of 300. Going into the third day, however, the Highlanders dropped down three spots, ending with a total of 907. Still, UCR finished ahead of two Big West members UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge.

Contributing to the team’s success was Sam Gillis, who shot a 78 on the last day ending with a total of 220. From all the Highlanders, Gillis held the lowest score and finished in a seven-way tie for 23rd place out of 127 individual players. Highlander David Gazzolo held the second-lowest score for UCR with a total of 223.

The Highlanders now prepare for another road trip. Beginning March 9, UC Riverside will be back in action down in San Diego, Calif. for the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic.