The Virginia women's golf team had their best showing in program history this weekend at the NCAA Championships, finishing in fourth place overall. Senior Calle Nielson and sophomore Brittany Altomare both repeated as All-Americans. Assistant Coach Brian Bailie was named the National Golf Coaches Association's Assistant Women's Coach of the Year.
The Hoos' previous best finish was in 2009, where they finished 8th. The Cavaliers have made the NCAA Championships five times in the eight-year history of the program.
Altomare finished 12th individually, shooting 2-over 290 over the tournament's four days. This includes a hole-in-one on the 16th hole, followed by a birdie on No. 18 to close out the third round. Altomare was named a second-team selection, an improvement over last year's honorable mention honors.
Nielson finished 26th individually en route to her third consecutive All-American honorable mention. She finished her career at Virginia with 17 top-10 finishes.
Virginia finished ahead of No. 1 USC by four strokes. UCLA took the 2011 title, while 2010 champion Purdue finished second and LSU finished third.
Following the tournament, Bailie was named the Assistant Coach of the Year. He has been with the program for six years and has led the Hoos to NCAA Championship appearances in each of the past four, making Regionals every year.
"Brian's work ethic to our program, our athletes, and our ethos is a big reason Virginia has quickly risen to be one of the top programs in the nation," said Virginia coach Kim Lewellen. "Brian is always interested in helping the student-athlete become the best golfer they can. He is an ongoing student of the game and strives to gather as much information as possible in order to aid the athletes mentally and physically."
The men were not as successful this weekend, as the Hoos failed to qualify for the NCAA Championships, finishing eighth in the East Regional at Radford. The Cavaliers shot 305 on the first day, marking the first time since the opening tournament of the season that they put up a score of over 300. This is the first time in the past four years that the men will not be competing in the NCAA Championships.
"We just dug a hole and couldn't get out of it," said Virginia coach Bowen Sargent. "We will be back next year. Three of the five players who played here return and we're adding one of the top five junior players in the nation next fall. I hope this motivates our guys to have a great summer of golf and come back hungry to start a new streak of going to the NCAAs next season."