April 17, 2016
By Chris Masters
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The University of Notre Dame women's golf team saved its best for last at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, carding a final-round 295 on the way to a 10th-place finish at 40-over par 904 (310-299-295) as the 28th annual league event concluded Sunday at the historic Sedgefield Country Club (par 72/6,089 yards) in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The Fighting Irish showed significant improvement throughout the three-day tournament on the way to securing their ninth top-10 finish in 10 events this season. In fact, Sunday's seven-over par 295 was the eighth time Notre Dame has shot 296 or lower in its last 12 rounds of conference tournament play, dating back to the 2013 BIG EAST Championship.
Virginia defended its team title at 855, while the Cavaliers' Lauren Coughlin earned medalist honors at 207.
"Obviously, we're very disappointed in our 10th-place finish," Notre Dame head coach Susan Holt said. "I think it shows the depth of the conference that I spoke of prior to the championship (with 10 teams in the Golfstat Top 50). We needed to play three solid rounds and didn't get it done. It's been a struggle for us this spring to get three solid rounds at each event. I'm very proud of how the team responded with better rounds each of the last two days. While it wasn't enough to move us up in the standings, it showed how resilient they are."
Senior captain Talia Campbell (Dallas, Texas/Ursuline Academy) etched her name in the Fighting Irish record book on Sunday with a team-leading ninth-place finish at two-over par 218 (76-70-72). Campbell is the first Notre Dame golfer in the program's 28-year history to be the top Fighting Irish individual at four consecutive conference tournaments and the fifth Notre Dame golfer ever to record four consecutive top-15 finishes in conference tournament play (first since Becca Huffer from 2009-12, all during BIG EAST Championship play).
As if that wasn't enough, Campbell earned her sixth top-10 finish in 10 outings this season, as well as the 12th of her career. The native Texan now has placed in the top 20 in nine tournaments this year and 14 of her last 16 events, stretching back to the start of the spring 2015 season.
In addition, Campbell was the leading Fighting Irish individual for the sixth consecutive tournament and seventh time this year, the latter mark tying for fourth on the program's single-season chart. It also was Campbell's 21st career team-leading effort, two shy of Noriko Nakazaki's school record set from 2003-07.
"I'm really proud of Talia and her ninth-place finish," Holt said. "It's such a great achievement in such a competitive field. This is a very demanding course and her steady play for 54 holes was really impressive."
Freshman Emma Albrecht (Ormond Beach, Fla./Father Lopez) capped off a solid ACC Championship debut with a tie for 17th place at six-over par 222 (75-74-73). It was Albrecht's sixth top-20 finish of her rookie season, and it marked the fifth time in six years Notre Dame had a freshman finish in the top 20 at the conference tournament.
"Emma had a great tournament," Holt noted. "As a freshman to play so well the first time seeing the course is a tribute to how well she is playing right now."
Albrecht's classmate, Isabella DiLisio (Hatfield, Pa./Mount Saint Joseph Academy), was Notre Dame's biggest mover on Sunday, climbing nine places to finish 44th overall at 15-over par 231 (81-77-73). DiLisio punctuated her strong closing round on her final hole with a picture-perfect 40-foot birdie putt from the front right fringe that snaked across Sedgefield's No. 9 green before finding the cup, to the cheers of the patrons and her beaming head coach.
"I was happy to see Isabella getting her game back into form with a solid final round as well," Holt said.
Freshman Maddie Rose Hamilton (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy) had an up-and-down weekend in her inaugural trip to the ACC Championship, winding up in a 52nd-place tie at 19-over par 235 (78-78-79).
Junior Jordan Ferreira (University Place, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) posted her best round of the tournament on Sunday, moving up to 56th place at 25-over par 241 (83-81-77).
Notre Dame now awaits the announcement of the fields for the four 18-team NCAA regionals, with that release scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET) April 25 live on Golf Channel. This year's four regionals will be played May 5-7 at the following locations: Birmingham, Alabama (Shoal Creek Club); Baton Rouge, Louisiana (University Club); College Station, Texas (Traditions Club), and Stanford, California (Stanford Golf Course).
For more information on the Notre Dame women's golf program, visit the women's golf page on the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (UND.com/ndwomensgolf), sign up to follow the Notre Dame women's golf Twitter feed (@NDwomensGolf) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
April 15-17, 2016
Sedgefield Country Club (par 72/6,089 yards)
Greensboro, North Carolina
FINAL TEAM SCORES (54-hole totals): 1. Virginia 855 (283-290-282); 2. Wake Forest 866 (294-285-287); 3. Duke 883 (284-296-293); 4. North Carolina 884 (298-300-286); 5. North Carolina State 886 (297-297-292); 6. Clemson 894 (298-299-297); 7. Louisville 898 (311-295-292); 8. Miami 899 (301-301-297); 9. Florida State 901 (299-307-295); 10. NOTRE DAME 904 (310-299-295); 11. Boston College 923 (304-309-310); 12. Virginia Tech 952 (320-310-322).
TOP NINE INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME GOLFERS (of 60): 1. Lauren Coughlin (UVA) 207 (66-71-70); 2. (tie) Sierra Sims (WF) 209 (76-66-67) and Jennifer Kupcho (WF) 209 (66-74-69); 4. Lauren Diaz-Yi (UVA) 214 (71-70-73); 5. (tie) Naomi Ko (NCST) 216 (71-75-70), Leslie Cloots (UNC) 216 (75-73-68) and Anna Redding (UVA) 216 (72-75-69); 8. Daniela Darquea (UM) 217 (71-74-72); 9. Talia Campbell (ND) 218 (76-70-72); 17. (tie) Emma Albrecht (ND) 222 (75-74-73); 44. Isabella DiLisio (ND) 231 (81-77-73); 52. (tie) Maddie Rose Hamilton (ND) 235 (78-78-79); 56. Jordan Ferreira (ND) 241 (83-81-77).
Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's golf and women's basketball programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master's degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).