UC Riverside’s women’s golf team finished the first action Monday Oct. 29 with a score of 304, placing the Highlander’s second out of 17 teams at the Lamkin Grip Cal Poly Invitational, and brought high hopes going into day two. However, on Tuesday Oct. 30 the Highlanders fell back three spots to finish the tournament in fourth place out of 17 teams.
In the first round, Highlander Savannah Vilaubi was tied for first with a score of 71 and UC Riverside finished second with a score of 304, just behind first place Northern Arizona. UC Riverside hoped to take charge behind their individual leader Vilaubi, and two of their top twenty finishers in Amelia Ek, who shot a 75, and Hannah Lee, who shot a 76. Ek and Lee finished the first round in 10th and 16th respectively, showing the incredible level of competition among the athletes, as tenth and sixteenth place were separated by just one point.
Coach Riehle commented on his team’s performance, saying, “For the second tournament in a row we entered the final round with an opportunity to win the team title, this time at the Cal Poly Invitational.”
Riverside faced tough competition on day two. The Highlanders finished in fourth place with a score of 315, behind first place Gonzaga that shot hot with a score of 297, Southern Utah managed to finish second firing a score of 304 and Northern Arizona finished third with a score of 314. Riverside did not lack effort in the tough and fierce competition, as Savannah Vilaubi still managed to score an 80. Vilaubi moved from a top individual performance to 11th with a combined score of 151.
Amelia Ek was consistent with her performance finishing 15th, firing a second round score of 77 and total of 152. Brittani Ferraro, Hannah Lee, and Tiffany Koyano all finished in the top 40 in individual performances when they tied for 38th place.
Coach Riehle had this to say on his team’s second day finish, “This is a different experience from what the players on this team are accustomed to, and it is a learning process in trying to play a great round against three or four other teams who are also playing well.” UC Riverside’s women’s team did indeed fall off of their incredibly competitive pace and Coach Riehele added, “I am very pleased just having our team in that situation and am confident that the next time we have a chance to win we will be able to close it out.”
UC Riverside doesn’t compete again until February, at the San Diego Championships, but Coach Riehle’s had some promising words concerning his team’s performance and the future. He said, “Overall I was very pleased with the team’s performance over our three fall season events. We played talented competition and finished each event with a Top-5 finish and a combined head to head record of 37-9. Our goals will remain the same throughout the season; focusing on daily improvement and steady work on team and individual weaknesses.”