WILIAMSTOWN, MASS. – Fifth year Eph women's golf head coach Tomas Adalsteinsson returns six players who earned 2020 WGCA All-Region honors to his 2020-21 squad. The six honorees was both an Eph team record and a WGCA record for most All-Region honorees in one year by one team.
The six 2020 WGCA All-Region Ephs included: seniors Holly Davenport and Stella Woo, juniors Joanna Kim and Olivia White 'and sophomores Malini Rudra and Catalin Yturralde.
Adalsteinsson earned his second WGCA East Region Coach of the Year honor in 2020. In addition, Adalsteinsson has guided the Ephs to all of the NCAA tournaments contested in his time at Williams, capturing second place twice and finishing fourth once.
Last spring the Ephs were poised to host the NESCAC Championship at the Ephs' home course, The Taconic Golf Club, after winning four of five fall tournaments, including the NESCAC Qualifier, but the COVID-19 pandemic denied the Ephs a spring campaign.
This fall 10 players will be on campus as one Eph has decided to study remotely this fall. "We will have all of our practices at Taconic and we will practice about five days of the week, playing the course," noted Adalsteinsson. "We aim to play about four intra-team 18-hole competitive rounds for score during the fall." It is no small advantage for the Ephs to have The Taconic Golf Club for a home course as annually Taconic is rated among the top three college-owned golf courses in the nation and among the best courses in Massachusetts..
The COVID-19 pandemic eliminated the 2020 spring and fall seasons for the Ephs and it also had an effect on recruiting. According to Adalsteinsson, "The biggest impact on recruiting was that the timeline was moved back a bit, so all dates were a bit later than usual. That's mainly because we weren't able to go to the summer tournaments, we could not host recruits on campus, and we were also impacted by the dead period in NCAA DI recruiting being extended until the end of August. So some of the DI schools were making decisions on their recruiting later than usual."
However, Adalsteinsson did note, "I was fortunate that I had seen many of the prospective players for Class of 2025 play last summer and many of them had visited our campus already. Those are students that I have been recruiting for over a year already, so we'll be able to find some gems there as in past years."
All of the players returning to campus this fall have been quick to express how thankful and grateful they are to be able to return to Williams and Williamstown. Senior Mehr Sawant said, "Every year, I come back to find myself surprised at how incredible the Williams campus and community is. Despite the unprecedented circumstances, this year is no exception. I am beyond impressed with how Williams has been able to create a safe and welcoming environment in the midst of a pandemic. I am very excited for this fall and feel so lucky to be back in the Purple Valley."
Junior Olivia White remarked, "I am so happy to be back in Williamstown and able to spend time with my teammates on the golf course. Golf is one of the only activities that hasn't changed much and I am thankful for that. Although we won't be competing this fall, we plan on getting lots of holes in during fun yet effective practice sessions. I look forward to starting up again."
Sophomore Catalin Yturralde offered, "Although we don't have an official season this fall, I'm so excited to be back in the Purple Valley. I debated for a while about staying in San Diego and practicing on my own while also taking online classes. But, the opportunity of practicing and playing at Taconic with my teammates was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I can't wait to grind it out on the course and in the (virtual) classroom."
Incoming first year Aishvarya Bedi stated, "Being on campus for the first time has been amazing so far. It's been so nice to spend time outside, given the COVID restrictions for indoor spaces. I come from a big city, so having so much beautiful and natural scenery around me is definitely a refreshing change. Being able to explore the campus and its surrounding nature has been one of my favorite things to do so far. Playing golf at Taconic has also been incredible; spending time on the course has been a great way to get to know my teammates. I am so excited to be able to explore The Berkshires even further as the year unfolds!"