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ND Women’s Golf: Huffer looks to build on freshman year success

Chris Michalski | Thursday, August 27, 2009

For someone who won Big East Freshman of the Year for women’s golf and led the team in stroke average in her first season, the next three years carry huge expectations. Sophomore Becca Huffer will do her best to fulfill those expectations and more as she leads the Irish into the Fall 2009 season.

“I just want to improve on last year, keep playing consistent,” said Huffer, who was named Colorado’s High School Athlete of the Year in January, joining an elite group that includes Carmelo Anthony.

To keep her swing and gain confidence, Huffer has been playing in tournaments in her hometown of Denver, Colo. for much of this summer. These tournaments also allowed her to work on her putting, which she said was “kind of a problem” in 2008.

The Irish team as a whole also has a tough act to follow this year after finishing a program-best 16th place in the NCAA Central Regional in the spring.

“We definitely want to get to the finals this year,” said Huffer. “We also want to reclaim our Big East Title, and just keep getting the top teams every year.”

The Irish finished second behind Louisville in the Big East Championships in the spring, with then-senior Lisa Mauna claiming the overall individual championship with a score of minus-1.

As part of this preseason, the golf team also traveled to Ireland for an eight-day trip beginning Aug. 8. They played a match-play format on five different courses, including Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, which is among the world’s top courses. The trip also included sightseeing opportunities of the Cliffs of Moher and the Aillwee Caves.

“[The trip] was amazing, I think we all had so much fun playing golf, having friendly competitions, and just getting pumped for playing golf,” said Huffer.

The team returning to play in the fall of 2009 is very similar to last spring’s, with Mauna being the only loss.

“We have no new freshmen coming in so we are all familiar with one another,” said Huffer, who will be one of only two sophomores on the team this year.

“We can build on that and keep the team going,” she said.

Huffer and the Irish will open up their season at the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich. beginning on Sept. 11.