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No. 16 Virginia hits mark at Texas A&M, finish 2nd

With No. 32 Kentucky already a chasm ahead of the competition, the No. 16 Virginia women’s team fended off No. 48 Central Florida on the final day to secure second place at the “Mo” Memorial Invitational, contested Monday through Wednesday earlier this week at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas. Texas A&M hosted the tournament.

Senior Elizabeth Brightwell and sophomore Lauren Coughlin finished sixth and seventh, respectively, to pace the Cavaliers, who finished at 23-over 883 for the competition. Led by individual champion Haley Mills, Kentucky totaled 872 to crush the field. Central Florida ended two strokes back of Virginia at 885.

An afterthought for individual glory after the first two rounds, Brightwell surged to the precipice of the top five with a three-under 69 Wednesday. Coughlin was nearly as impressive, shooting 71 on the final day to help clinch a round score of 289 for the Cavaliers and maintain their two-stroke advantage against the Knights they possessed after Tuesday’s action. The final day flourishes from Brightwell and Coughlin represented Virginia’s only two under-par rounds as a team for the entire tournament.

In the third position, junior Brianna Mao amassed a three-day score of five-over 221 to finish two strokes behind Brightwell, one behind Coughlin and a hair outside the top-ten. Rounding out the scoring for the Cavaliers were 22nd-place finisher freshman Luaren Diaz-Yi and senior Lauren Rosen, who placed 37th.

Sophomore Alex Hershberger, freshman Evie Dole and junior Kaira Martin competed as Virginia’s non-scoring entrants. Hershberger (26th) and Dole (29th) reached the top-30, while Martin earned 43rd.

The Cavaliers will next journey to Franklin, Tenn. for the Mason Rudolph Championship Sept. 20-22.

—compiled by Fritz Metzinger