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Lady Frogs use a series of fantastic finishes to reach national championships.
The three seniors — Catherine Matranga, Elin Emanuelsson and Camille Blackerby wouldn’t let the thought escape them: This was their final chance at a conference championship. If they were to wear the league crown, it would take a comeback.
And rally they did. With low rounds from Emanuelsson and freshman teammate Valentine Derrey, the women’s golf team scrambled back from a 6-stroke deficit entering the final round of the Mountain West Conference tournament in April to overtake 15th-ranked BYU and capture the championship by one stroke.
It is the program’s first league title since 2002. It is the third different league championship won by TCU under 13th-year head coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin. The Frogs were also the 1998 WAC champions. It is the fourth overall conference title in program history.
“Six strokes is nothing in golf,” Ravaioli-Larkin said. “That really wasn’t the issue. The issue was to go out and play our game — to put some pressure on BYU and see how they responded.
“But I’m proud of this group because it was a total team effort. I couldn’t be prouder. Anytime you win a conference championship, it’s huge. It means a lot to the program and the girls — especially the seniors.”
Derrey’s and Emanuelsson’s 73s combined with Matranga’s 76 and Blackerby’s 77 to give the Lady Frogs four golfers in the top 10.
The team would keep the momentum going in May, finishing third at the NCAA Central Regional behind two top 10 finishes from Matranga and Emanuelsson. Collectively, the third-pace finish was the best finish in school history at a regional and earned the squad a trip to the National Champion-ship Tournament for the first time since 2000.
After a slow start, the Lady Frogs rallied once again to move into the top 10 before finishing 11th, the best showing for the program since it won the national championship in 1983.
Matranga, who would receive honorable-mention All-American honors, was the top TCU individual, placing in a tie for 11th. Emanuelsson landed a spot on the NGCA All-Central Region Team.
“This was a special year for the team,” Ravaioli-Larkin said. “We kept our composure and continued to play through the ups and downs, and in the end, our game took us to where we knew we could go.” — RW
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