Columbus, Ohio -
The 27th-ranked Virginia women's golf team made a strong surge during the second round at the NCAA Central Regional Championship to vault into third place. The Cavaliers need a top-eight finish following Saturdays' final round to advance to the NCAA Championships for the fifth consecutive season.
Virginia shot 8-over 296, the third best score of the day, for a two-day total of 28-over 604. USC leads the Regional at 12-over 588 while Vanderbilt is second at 24-over 600. Ohio State occupies the pivotal eighth-place position at 36-over 612. USC's Lisa McCloskey leads stroke play at 3-under 141.
After struggling late in its opening round on Ohio State's Scarlet Course, Virginia was steady throughout the second day of play, counting just one double bogey during the round.
Thursday the Cavaliers shot 18-over on the back nine to end the day in a tie for eighth place. Starting the second round on the 10th tee, the Cavaliers performed much better on the Scarlet's back nine. The four counting players combined to go 3-over for the same stretch of holes.
"The wind was not as strong today, but the pin placements were much more difficult," said Virginia coach Kim Lewellen. "The girls did a great job with their approach shots and were putting the ball on the greens in just the right spots. That made a big difference. I think they learned a lot from playing the course yesterday and we took some different approaches today. They played exceptionally well today."
Junior Brittany Altomare led the Cavaliers with an even par 72 to move up to sixth place on the leaderboard. She carded three birdies over her final eight holes to make her move back into the top-10 with a two-day total of 3-over 147.
Briana Mao and Elizabeth Brightwell enter the final round tied for 21st at 8-over 152. Both players shot 2-over 74 Friday. Mao, a freshman, posted four birdies to go along with six bogeys. Brightwell, a sophomore playing in her first regional, was at even par before a double bogey on her final hole dropped her back in the standings.
Portland Rosen, who opened the tournament by shooting 84, rebounded with a second round score of 4-over 76 to figure as UVa's fourth counting player during the round. She is in 73rd place. Lauren Greenlief shot 77 for the second consecutive day and is in 39th place at 10-over 154.
Virginia will be paired with USC and Vanderbilt during Saturday's final round. Those teams are scheduled to start play at 9:06 a.m. Live scoring of the tournament is online at Golfstat.com.
NCAA Central Regional
Ohio State Scarlet Course
Par-72, 6,264 yards
Second Round Results
1. USC 298-290-588
2. Vanderbilt 308-292-600
3. Virginia 308-296-604
4. Purdue 301-307-608
4. Oregon 308-300-608
6. Auburn 306-304-610
7. NC State 307-304-611
8. Ohio State 310-302-612
9. Tennessee 306-308-614
10. Florida State 314-301-615
11. Georgia 299-318-617
12. Arkansas 310-308-618
13. Notre Dame 304-320-624
14. Mississippi 315-311-626
15. Michigan 315-316-631
16. Harvard 315-317-632
17. South Florida 309-325-634
18. Texas State 320-315-635
18. Kentucky 322-313-635
20. East Carolina 329-310-639
21. UTSA 317-326-643
22. UNC Wilmington 323-322-645
23. Siena 328-326-654
24. Butler 321-334-655
1. Lisa McCloskey, USC 73-68-141
2. Marina Alex, Vanderbilt 70-73-143
2. Maria Salinas, Florida State 71-72-143
2. Lauren Stratton, Vanderbilt 75-68-143
5. Sophia Popov, USC 78-68-146
6. Brittany Altomare, Virginia 75-72-147
6. Alex Buelow, Stetson* 72-75-147
6. Cassy Isagawa, Oregon 75-72-147
9. Rocio Sanchez Lobato, Georgia 73-75-148
9. Paula Reto, Purdue 71-77-148
9. Rachel Rohanna, Ohio State 74-74-148
* Competing as an individual
6. Brittany Altomare 75-72-147
21. Briana Mao 78-74-152
21. Elizabeth Brightwell 78-74-152
39. Lauren Greenlief 77-77-154
73. Portland Rosen 84-76-160