Top-10 opponents fill schedule slots

Consistency is paramount in golf – for the women’s program, top-25 finishes when the seasons come to a close are the status-quo under coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin.

Since entering the Mountain West Conference, the Horned Frogs have earned three consecutive NCAA Regional Tournament bids and have taken a conference championship title.

Following a strong fall with a victory at the Lady Paladin Invitational at Furman University in South Carolina, the team is preparing for a spring schedule that is heavy with ranked opponents, Ravaioli-Larkin said.

“It’s going to be challenging with the number of top-10 teams we are playing on a regular basis,” she said.

The team currently is ranked No. 28 as the spring tournaments approach, but Ravaioli-Larkin said the team’s main goal is getting a postseason berth.

“We are going into each tourney with a goal of winning,” she said. “And one of our goals is advancing beyond conference.”

The roster is built on a majority of freshmen and sophomore golfers with six of the nine team members falling into those classes.

However, Ravaioli-Larkin wants leadership from both senior Carrie Morris and sophomore golfer Valentine Derrey, from France, to help guide the team during the 2008 campaign.

“I really look for all my players to step into their own roles,” Ravaioli-Larkin said. “Ultimately we’re looking for Carrie and Val – even though she’s just a sophomore – to step up.”

While individual scores help a player’s personal record in a tournament, it is the team’s overall performance that dictates placement. As a result, Ravaioli-Larkin said she wants Derrey to provide some leadership during team competitions.

“She understands team golf because it’s so important in France, and she really brings that into the mix,” Ravaioli-Larkin said.

The first tournament of the spring season will take place in Palos Verdes, Calif., during the Regional Challenge competition. One of the teams in the field for the Feb. 11 tourney is the current top-ranked UCLA Bruins.