Williamstown, MA—It's rainy in the Purple Valley but for the Williams women's golf team, this is good news. With their spring season just around the corner, all eleven players plus head coach Tomas Adalsteinsson are frantically refreshing the weather app in hopes of rain and not snow.
The team is fresh off their Spring Break training trip down in balmy Palm Springs, Florida. They were fortunate enough to play in the 22nd Alumni Tournament at the exclusive John's Islands Club and even got a round in at Barack Obama's home course, The Floridian. More importantly, the team was able to play a couple of rounds at Mission Inn where the National Tournament will be held this May. Women's golf in the NESCAC does not have an automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament so the team will have to wait for at-large bids to come out in late April.
With their spot at the NCAA Tournament still up in the air, the team is gearing up for an important spring season ahead. The Ephs' season will kick off next weekend at the Vassar Invitational down in Poughkeepsie, NY. The team will then travel to play the Amherst Invitational the following weekend before closing out the regular season with their second home tournament of the year.
"Our players had a very deliberate approach to their winter practices, and worked hard in the gym as well. It showed on our spring break trip, where the focus was on performing on the golf course and getting ready for tournament play," head coach Tomas Adalsteinsson said.
After the fall season, the Ephs were ranked sixth nationally and are looking to climb in the coming tournaments. The only northern school ranked higher than Williams is New York University and through the fall season, the Ephs tied but did not lose to NYU. The team will look to continue this streak in the upcoming three tournament. The other four teams ranked higher than the Ephs are from southern and western states, which speaks to the strength of the Williams team in their ability to compete with teams who are not as affected by Mother Nature.
Williams finished the fall season with wins inthree of the five tournaments they played, including capturing their third NESCAC conference title. After the NESCAC championship, three Ephs were honored by being named to the All-NESCAC team. Junior Cordelia Chan was named the 2017 NESCAC Player of the Year, which extends the Eph streak to three after seniors Phoebe Mattana and Liz Gudas were named the player of the year in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Chan and Gudas were also named to the First Team All-NESCAC and Mattana was named to the Second Team.
The other two freshmen on the team, Mehr Sawant and Gabby Martin, have settled into the balance between academics and golf. Martin, being a dual sport athlete in golf and basketball, had a quick transition between the two sports but had a solid training trip for her golf game. She can still very much bomb her drive 290 yards down the middle.
Junior Isabella Wang has also seen large improvements in her game and finished out the fall season with a T6 finish at the NYU Invitational in a competitive field.
Sophomores Renee Kwak, Cindy Wang, and senior captain Maddy Abrahams all had productive time on the range and course during their training trip. These three will absolutely be competing to make the traveling team.
"We are excited for our first spring tournament this weekend, and the goal is to perform well in the spring tournaments to earn a spot in the NCAA Championship," Adalsteinsson said. "After a successful fall, including a school record for 18-hole team score and a NESCAC title, we will need to focus on what makes our games strong, and get a little bit better every day."