Albuquerque, NM - The Virginia women's golf team opens play at the 2008 NCAA Championships Tueday at 8:10 a.m. (MT) at The University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course. The Cavaliers will be paired with Texas A&M and Oklahoma State during the first two rounds of the 72-hole tournament that runs through Friday. A total of 24 teams and six individuals make up the field for the event that decides a team and individual champion.
Virginia’s five-year-old program has advanced to the NCAA Championships just once in 2005- but it turned out to be a memorable event. Cavalier sophomore Leah Wigger finished second overall at the event held at the Sun River Resort in Sun River, Ore. She shot 3-over 287 including a 69 during the final round. The Cavaliers were 13th overall.
"It is expected to be hot, somewhere in the 90s Tuesday, so I think we have a little advantage by going out very early," said Virginia coach Kim Lewellen. "Our girls are excited to be here and want to get off to a very good start. We've had a couple of good days of practice. I think we are ready to go."
The Virginia Lineup
Jennie Arseneault Jr. Grinnell, Iowa 76.71
Joy Kim Fr. Duluth, Georgia 75.48
Lene Krog Jr. Lier, Norway 74.77
Whitney Neuhauser So. Barboursville, Virginia 77.25
Calle Nielson Fr. Nashville, Tennessee 74.69
Virginia is ranked No. 16 in the latest Golfstat standings and are No. 17 in the Golfweek poll. Freshman Calle Nielson is No. 50 in the Golfstat Cup standings while junior Lene Krog is No. 61. Nielson figures No. 44 in Golfweek’s individual standings while Krog is No. 56.
East Regional Recap
Behind the final round play of freshman Joy Kim the Cavaliers finished fifth at the NCAA East Regional at the University of Georgia Golf Course with a score of 898. Kim carded five birdies on her back nine during the final round to shoot 68. She finished seventh overall at 2-over 218. The Cavaliers had rounds of 296, 310 and 292. UVa’s Whitney Neuhauser was 24th at 225, Calle Nielson was 27th at 226, Lene Krog was 48th at 230 and Jennie Arseneault was 61st at 233. Following the NCAA East Regional Kim was named Golf World’s player of the week.
Virginia was second at this year’s ACC Championships, finishing one shot behind 13-time champion Duke. The Blue Devils won the event with a score of 871. The Cavaliers led the tournament after the first day, shooting 4-under 284 to grab a 10-shot lead. Duke and UVa were tied at 579 following 36 holes of play. The Blue Devils shot 292 during the final round to 293 for the Cavaliers. Virginia freshman Calle Nielson was third overall at 216 while fellow first-year Joy Kim was sixth at 219. Jennie Arseneault was ninth at 222, Lene Krog was 13th at 223 and Whitney Neuhauser was 24th at 230.
Rewriting the Record Book
Virginia’s first-round score of 4-under 284 at the ACC Championships was the lowest single-round score in Virginia’s history, bettering the previous best of 288 set at the 2007 NCAA East Regional. The Cavaliers’ team score at the ACC Championships (872) also set a record for the best 54-hole team score. The previous mark of 874 was also set at the 2007 NCAA East Regional.
Lewellen Named ACC Coach of the Year
First-year Virginia coach Kim Lewellen is the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year. She led UVa to a runner-up finish at the ACC Championships, finishing one-shot behind 13-time champion Duke. The Cavaliers finished fifth at the NCAA East Regional and are making their second NCAA Championships appearance.
First-year players Lene Krog and Calle Nielson were named to the All-ACC team. Krog and Nielson become the fourth and fifth players to earn All-ACC honors in UVa’s five-year history. Leah Wigger was a four-time selection from 2004-2007, Lauren Mielbrecht was honored in 2006 and Jennie Arseneault was selected in 2007. Nielson, a freshman, leads UVa with a 74.69 stroke aveage while Krog is second on the team at 74.77. A junior, Krog transferred to UVa from East Carolina following the ’07 season.