Mulflur said her team is peaking, and that is a good thing with the Huskies starting play in the Albuquerque Regional on Monday, with the top six of 18 teams earning spots into the NCAA championships beginning May 19 in Spring Grove, Ill.

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Mary Lou Mulflur admits that this season has been a learning experience.

The spotlight has been on her Washington women’s golf team, but that’s what happens when you’re the defending national champion.

“There are about 250 other programs that would love to be in this position, but there is no question that it’s been hard for the players to manage (coming off a national title), and it’s been hard for us coaches as well,” she said.

That said, Mulflur said her team is peaking, and that is a good thing with the Huskies starting play in the Albuquerque Regional on Monday, with the top six of 18 teams earning spots into the NCAA championships beginning May 19 in Spring Grove, Ill.

The Huskies are seeded 10th in the regional. Top-ranked Stanford, which lost to UW in last year’s NCAA title match, is seeded No. 1.

“Just survive and advance,” said Mulflur, not caring what place UW gets as long as it is in the top six.

Last year’s starting lineup consisted of senior stars Charlotte Thomas and Ying Liu and three freshmen, Julianne Alvarez, Wenyung Keh and Sarah Rhee.

This year, the lineup has consisted of three sophomores and two freshmen. At times, they have played great, winning twice, but there have also been some tough weeks, which had led to a No. 50 ranking.

But UW got a boost from freshman Karen Miyamoto, who enrolled in school early, joined the team in January and is third on the squad in scoring average. Keh (74.87) and Alvarez (75.03) lead the team, but their averages are not as good as last season.

“They’ve been trying too hard, and not improving, but it is not from a lack of effort,” Mulflur said. “They both want it so badly, and are trying too hard. You can’t force things.”

Keh, Alvarez and Rhee had amazing runs in last year’s NCAA championships, and Mulflur said that experience should be beneficial next week.

“They know what that week is like, and they are well prepared to tackle that,” Mulflur said.

The Huskies were seventh in the Pac-12 championships, but every team starts in the same spot Monday.

“What you’ve done has no bearing on anything,” Mulflur said. “You’ve got to go and play well, and if you play well enough, you survive and move on.”