Brittany Altomare has been a step above the competition throughout her senior season on the Virginia golf team. On Monday, she was a step ahead of her teammates.
Altomare learned Monday afternoon that she had been unanimously voted ACC women's golfer of the year. When her teammates tried to celebrate by dumping a cooler full of water on Altomare, she was able to get just clear enough to send the water splashing to the ground at her feet.
Altomare admitted she was surprised by Monday's announcement.
"It means a lot," she said. "I've had such a great support system, in coaches and teammates here. We've all worked really hard, and it's just a really good feeling."
Altomare is the first player from Virginia to win the ACC award. It came a few weeks after she shot a 4-over 217 to become the first player in program history to win the conference's individual golf championship.
Coach Kim Lewellen said Monday that she was "thrilled to death" for Altomare, who was the first player to commit to play at Virginia after Lewellen took over the program five years ago.
"We've gone this path together," Lewellen said. "I haven't been here that long. And for her to succeed with the success of the program is just a special thing to share with Brittany."
"And it was a unanimous vote. All the coaches voted for her," Lewellen added. "So that shows something too. She was clearly the winner of it, and deserving of the honor."
For the season, Altomare leads the Cavaliers with a 72.30 stroke average -- again, the lowest single-season average in the program's history. She has posted five top-three finishes this year, and finished in the 1op 15 in eight of nine tournaments on the season.
Altomare and sophomore teammate Briana Mao were both named to the All-ACC women's golf team on Monday as well. With that award, Altomare joined former Cavaliers Leah Wigger and Callie Nielson as the only four-time all-conference selections in the program's history.
"It's kind of been like a blur almost. This whole year has gone by so quickly," Altomare said. "It's been exciting because the team's playing well. It's not just one person playing well. We're all playing well."
Lewellen called Altomare's senior year "the best season that any UVa golfer has ever had."
"The strength of player that she is, is not only outstanding for the program but for Brittany," Lewellen said. "She has aspirations to play afterward, I think she'll be a tremendous professional player. And I just think this is a wonderful way to set her on her career."
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