It's chilly and slightly windy 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 nine players are glad that they can at least go out to a nearby course, Mount Anthony Golf Course, and play golf on real grass as we constantly refresh the weather app looking for warmer weather in the coming weeks.
The team is fresh off their Spring Break training trip down in Orlando, Florida. They were fortunate enough to play at exclusive golf clubs. At Lake Nona Country Club, they were able to have a sneak peek at Ian Poulter, a professional PGA tour player, and at Isleworth CC, the team was blessed to have a caddie alongside them throughout the round. In addition, the team was able to play a couple of rounds at Mission Inn where the National Tournament was held last May. Women's golf in the NESCAC has an automatic exemption to the NCAA tournament this year from the victory at NESCAC Women's Golf Championship that was held in October of 2018, so the team is now trying slowly ease into the competitive atmosphere, as we sharpen our individual games without pressure.
With their spot at the NCAA Tournament reserved, 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.
"The winter months provided some well-deserved rest and recovery for the team, and the players did a great job building strength and endurance for the upcoming season," Adalsteinsson said, "Spring break training was valuable, and for every practice we look to improve on those aspects of our game that will help us reach our goals."
After the fall season, currently, the Ephs are ranked ninth nationally and are looking to climb in the coming tournaments. The only northern school ranked higher than Williams is New York University. The team will look to improve more in the coming season, slowly moving up the ranking ladder. 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 in two of the four Division 3 tournaments they played, including capturing their fourth NESCAC conference title. After the NESCAC championship, four Ephs were honored by being named to the All-NESCAC team. Senior Cordelia Chan was named ALL-NESCAC for the fourth year in a row, which includes her NESCAC Player of the Year in 2017, NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2015, as well as her three times NESCAC First Team laurels following 2016 where she was named the All-NESCAC Second Team. Following Cordelia were their sophomore and freshman Ephs Holly Davenport, who secured her first All-NESCAC honor with a 10th place finish at the NESCAC Championship and Joanna Kim, who collected the NESCAC Rookie of the Year. The Last and most important NESCAC title went to the Eph women's golf team's head coach, Tomas Adalsteinsson. He was voted as the Coach of the Year as he was the second Williams head coach to earn NESCAC Coach of the Year honors since Bill Kangas in 2015.
Freshmen Olivia White, sophomores Stella Woo, Mehr Sawant as well as senior co captain, Isabella Wang were also large contributors to the fall season success. White, Woo, and Wang travelled contributed to the team's overall score every week as well as Mehr Sawant, who showed significant improvement from last year as she even went on to shoot her record-breaking score at the Dartmouth invitational, 74.
The other members of the team, Gabby Martin, sophomore, and Cindy Wang, junior, 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. Cindy, after just getting her new Epic driver, is pumped for the start of the Spring season as she is getting more comfortable with her game.
Renee Kwak, our 10th member of the team who is studying a full year abroad in Paris is doing well as the ephs are waiting for her return in the coming fall soon.
Looking to the rest of the year's Spring season, their head coach Tomas Adalsteinsson commented, "We know what we are capable of achieving, and it's up to us to put the work in. The chemistry on the team is outstanding, and it will help us push each other to be the best we can be. I'm excited for the upcoming tournaments."