Juniors Expected To Help Husky Golf Flourish

Feb. 11, 2010

• Husky Golf Preview: The Seniors

For Mary Lou Mulflur and her Husky women's golf team, the 2009-10 season presents something that is rare in college athletics: stability. Sure, the UW team has had 27 years of consistency with Mulflur at the helm, but year in and year out, the players come and go. Not this season.

Washington returns its top five golfers from 2009 and eight of nine overall, losing only Molly Boyle who played in two tournaments last season for the Dawgs. Besides, that, all names on the roster are the same; the lone exception being that Brittany Tallman, who redshirted as a freshman last season, is in the mix now.

THE JUNIORS

The Huskies tout a class of four juniors that are an integral part of Washington's success. The foursome makes their impact both on and off the golf course.

Leading the way is Anya Alvarez. When her career is all said and done, Alvarez has an opportunity to go down as one of the finest golfers in school history. She already has eight career top-10 finishes, which ranks eighth all-time in school history, and holds the team record for the best three round score ever (-13, 203 at the Las Vegas Shootout in 2008).

While she has already proven she can be a good golfer, coach Mulflur thinks she has still only scratched the surface of her greatness. 'She has an unbelievable physical skill set, but she is challenged with managing the emotions of the game and the ups and downs that come for everybody that plays any sport, or life for that matter. For her it's been learning how to manage those emotions.

'I think she's finally made some good strides,' continues Mulflur. 'The first two years it's been a struggle with her, but this year she came back and seemed a little more relaxed about things. Maybe she is just more comfortable about where she is and what she is doing. She can go low, she can go really low. I think her scoring average is two shots better than anybody else's right now. If she plays well this spring, there is no reason she can't be an All-American.'

Fellow junior Karinn Dickinson has also shown glimpses of golf stardom. Once again, the key is finding consistency. As a freshman, she won the Peg Barnard Classic and as a sophomore finished third in the Edean Ihlanfeldt Classic. The trick is to notch more top 10 finishes in her third year - something Mulflur thinks may be in the cards for the Kamiak HS grad.

' I think the whole going to school and playing at this level was a little overwhelming for her at times,' says Mulflur about Dickinson. 'I think now she's really focused and she started to realize if you pay attention to school and have that in order it just makes everything else so much easier. I think now she is finally there and I think that her golf will get better and better because she is much more relaxed about school.'

The junior class is rounded out by Nicole Ferrero and Katie Saucier. Each has contributed in the past to Washington's success and have a chance to crack the five-player lineup for tournaments. Even if they don't crack the lineup, their contributions to the team are immeasurable.

Saucier is an academic all-star for the Huskies and the epitome of a Student-Athlete. She has been asked by UW President Mark Emmert to attend the Dawg Days in the Desert, an annual event that celebrates the ties to the University of Washington with alumni, friends and family in the beautiful city of Indian Wells, Calif.

'She just has so much more going on that I'm not sure where golf fits in for her as far as her priorities,' says Mulflur on Saucier. 'You couldn't ask for a better teammate, a good student, good citizen and an all around human being. She's been a pleasure to have on the team.'

Ferrerro has earned a reputation with Mulflur as one of the team's hardest workers. Although she has struggled on the course at times, she has fought through it and is poised to help the team out.

'She struggled at times this fall, but you have never seen someone work harder to get out of the funk that she was in,' says Mulflur. 'She did everything you possibly could have imagined to work her way out of it and she has started to play better.'

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