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Previewing Virginia women’s golf for the 2022-2023 season

The season opens with the Annika Invitational beginning Monday

<p>Junior Rebecca Skoler also returns for the Cavaliers, who hope to improve on last year's semifinals finish at the ACC Championship.</p>

Junior Rebecca Skoler also returns for the Cavaliers, who hope to improve on last year's semifinals finish at the ACC Championship.

Virginia women’s golf will start their season Monday, as the No. 10 Cavaliers look to compete against the best the sport has to offer during their year-round season. Coach Ria Scott released the 2022-23 schedule in late July, which includes eight regular season events and a trip to Mexico for the Guadalajara Country Club Collegiate Invitational.

The team opens the season at the Royal Golf Club in Minneapolis, Minn. for the Annika Invitational, held Monday through Wednesday. Following this, they venture to Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill. for the Windy City Collegiate Classic Oct. 3 and 4. To conclude the fall portion of the season, the Virginia players travel to the Stanford Intercollegiate in Stanford, Calif. from Oct. 21 through 23.

To begin the spring portion of competition in the beginning of February, the Cavaliers head to Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico to play in the Guadalajara Country Club Collegiate Invitational — an event they won in 2020 before the pandemic shut the season down.

Next, Virginia heads to the Darius Rucker Invitational at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C., held Feb. 27 through March 1. This event will be broadcast live by the Golf Channel. In what is anticipated to be another difficult tournament, the Cavaliers play at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Ga. for the first time since the 2012-13 season, where they finished 12th out of 18.

The regular season ends at Lonnie Poole Golf Club in Raleigh, N.C. April 3 and 4 in NC State’s Wolfpack Match Play event. Throughout the season, the team will play at three NCAA Regional sites including Stanford, NC State and Georgia.

During the 2021-22 season, Virginia made an impressive run in the ACC Championships, but fell to Wake Forest in the semifinals. The Cavaliers competed in the NCAA Championships at the end of May, and graduate student Beth Lillie made school history when she posted her second top 10 finish at the NCAA Championships. Although the team did not advance to match play, Scott is confident that the Virginia players have a bright future ahead, with five of six from the tournament returning this season.

Virginia returns its top two performers by average round from last year in sophomore Amanda Sambach and junior Jennifer Cleary, creating a strong core of what should be another successful year for the Cavaliers.

Incoming players include freshmen Ally Black, Josephine Genereux and Maline Kraus.

Black has eight top-five finishes at the American Junior Golf Association tournaments and has been ranked in the top 50 AJGA Rolex rankings. Not only is she skilled in golf, but as co-chair of the Texas Cup in high school, she helped to raise more than $150,000 for the AJGA’s Ace Grant program.

Genereux is a native of Greenwich, Conn. and has been rated in the top 100 AJGA players during her career. She has accumulated five top 10 finishes, including two first place finishes in the 2020 Met Junior PGA Championship and the 2020 Connecticut Junior PGA Championship. Genereux has strong family ties to the University and the Atlantic Coast Conference — her grandfather played baseball at Virginia and her father played golf at Wake Forest.

Kraus competed at the 2021 R&A Girls Championship finishing 11th in stroke play. She has other impressive finishes, including 12th at the French International Ladies Stroke Play and 13th at the German International Amateur, both of which also occurred in 2021.

“Maline is driven, strong and passionate about her improvement both in golf and academics,” Scott said. “We look forward to helping her build on her competitive experience here in the U.S.”

The teams the Virginia players are matched up against are some of the strongest in the conference, which Scott believes will make the Cavaliers more successful overall.

“We believe that having the opportunity to test our players against the very best, week in and week out, makes them most ready to compete for championships,” Scott said.