The No. 13 Washington women’s golf team will play for its first ever national title. The Huskies secured their spot in the national championship after winning both the quarter and semifinals of Tuesday’s match play.
The UW faced No. 15 Virginia in the fifth consecutive day of postseason play and won 3-1-1. Freshmen Julianne Alvarez and Wenyung Keh and senior Charlotte Thomas defeated their Cavalier counterparts in the first of two rounds Tuesday.
Alvarez held the lead over Virginia freshman Morgan Gonzales until the 11th hole, when the two went all square for the next three holes. Alvarez regained her lead and earned the UW’s first point with a 2 and 1.
Keh defeated junior Lauren Diaz-Yi 4 and 2 to earn another point for the Huskies, giving them the advantage with only one pair remaining. Thomas came back after four consecutive holes all square to beat senior Lauren Coughlin 4 and 3.
Senior Ying Luo finished all square against her counterpart. Freshman Sarah Rhee lost her quarterfinal match, but later punched the UW’s ticket to the final round after defeating her opponent 1 up in 19 in the semifinals.
Rhee was the last Husky on the course in the second round, and holed out from the bunker on the 19th hole to secure the UW’s place in the final round Wednesday. The Seattle native forced a playoff after three consecutive birdies left the two all square through the 18th.
The UW went on to defeat UCLA 3-1-1 in the semifinals, with two of the three victories, including Rhee’s, being decided by only one stroke.
The Huskies were carried by the three underclassmen in the semifinals. Alvarez defeated freshman Bethany Wu 1 up, and Keh took her match 2 and 1 over junior Hadas Libman.
Luo’s round was halved with freshman Lilia Vu and Thomas fell to her counterpart 2 and 1.
The UW will face Stanford, the reigning national champions, in Wednesday’s final round of match play beginning at 3 p.m. The championships will be televised on the Golf Channel.
The pairings are as follows: Thomas versus sophomore Shannon Aubert, Luo versus junior Casey Danielson, Rhee versus senior Mariah Stackhouse, Keh versus freshman Sierra Kersten, and Alvarez versus senior Lauren Kim.
Reach reporter Oliver Groeneveld at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @OliverGr_UW