The Washington women’s golf team is still riding the high of winning the NCAA national championship for the 2015-16 season. With the program’s first title in hand, the Huskies will begin this year’s season returning key golfers who aided in last year’s success.

Sophomores Julianne Alvarez, Wenyung Keh, and Sarah Rhee were vital in the UW’s title run. Alvarez closed the match, giving the UW its winning 3-2 match score against Stanford. Keh and Rhee also kept the Huskies going in the rounds leading up to the championship, and all three return with experience on collegiate golf’s biggest stage despite their youth.

The Huskies, under the leadership of head coach Mary Lou Mulflur, finished all 14 tournaments of last season inside the top 10, and claimed the spot on top of the leaderboard in three separate tournaments.

After losing top performers to graduation, the returning underclassmen have posted impressive numbers throughout last season, and hope to continue their success when the season opens Monday at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Invite in Tacoma.

Keh and Alvarez appeared in every tournament last year, each claiming a No. 1 individual finish and eight combined top-10 finishes. Rhee, who played in all but three, was close to the top spot but ended the season with a second place finish as her best individual performance.

The sophomore trio accounts for nine of the best individual scores of last season. Alumna Charlotte Thomas and Ying Luo claimed the remaining 11, and their absence leaves a dent in the Huskies’ roster. But the UW welcomes three freshmen in Eunwon Park, Ellen Takada, and Esther Yin.

Washington has a sparse fall schedule, competing in only four tournaments before the new year. The season will pick up in February with five tournaments leading up to the Pac-12 championships beginning at the end of April.

Reach Sports Editor Alexis Mansanarez at Twitter: @almansanarez

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