Tuesday, April 30, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS — Atlantic Sun Champion East Tennessee State University will head to the Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala., to participate in the East Region of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Regionals, the NCAA announced on Monday.
The East Regional is one of three regional tournaments being conducted May 9-11 to determine the championships field. Regional tournaments are considered preliminary rounds of NCAA championships competition, and all national championships policies apply.
ETSU has participated in NCAA Regional play twice before, finishing 15th both times in the 2010 East Regional in Greenville, N.C., and in the 2008 Central Regional in Austin, Texas. Last season the 2012 A-Sun Freshman of the Year Gabriella Wahl also played in the Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio, finishing tied for 34th, and in 2011 Nina Muehl tied for 71st in the Central Region in South Bend, Ind. In 2010 Muehl advanced to National Championship action, finishing 92nd in the 2010 championship played in Wilmington, N.C.
An A-Sun team has played in the East Regional 18 times, with the best finish coming in 1997 as Campbell finished fifth with a three-round total of 951. The 2010 Bucs recorded the second-lowest three-round total by an A-Sun team in a NCAA Regional, firing 903, just one stroke above the record mark of 902 set by Campbell the same year.
This season's ETSU team has enjoyed another outstanding season, winning two tournaments including the A-Sun Championship and finishing no worse than eighth in any event. At the A-Sun Championship, ETSU tied its program's championship high mark with a first place finish as well as establishing new marks for an individual's low 18-hole total (Sian Evans, 67 in first round) and a new team low 18-hole total (287, first round). Wahl and Sian Evans also finished in the championship's Top-10 for the second straight year.
Head Coach Stefanie Shelton is the 2013 A-Sun Coach of the Year, her third such honor, and Evans earned membership to the All-Conference First Team for the third straight year. Wahl joined Evans for the second consecutive year as a First-Team All-Conference selection, and freshman Vivienne Chin was selected as Freshman of the Year. Chloe Garner joined Chin on the All-Conference Second Team, and Wahl also earned membership to the Academic All-Conference Team.
A total of 378 participants have been selected for regional competition. Of these players, 126 will advance to the championships finals. Eight teams and two individuals will advance from each regional.
The 59th-ranked Bucs join 23 other teams in the field at Auburn that includes conference champions No. 2 Alabama (SEC), No. 16 Oklahoma State (Big 12), No. 19 Tulane (C-USA), No. 30 Notre Dame (Big East), No. 23 Northwestern (Big 10), Florida International (Sun Belt), Chattanooga (Southern), James Madison (Colonial Athletic), Eastern Kentucky (OVC) and Alabama State (SWAC).
The field also includes No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 UCLA, No. 15 North Carolina, No. 14 Virginia, No. 17 Texas, No. 31 Tennessee, No 32 Kentucky, No. 38 Texas State, No. 39 Auburn, Central Florida, No. 43 Penn State, East Carolina and No. 49 Ole Miss. Six individuals will also participate in the East Regional: Natalie Willie and Casey Kennedy from Augusta State, Kelly Shon from Princeton, Isabel Southard from Boston College and Shu-Yin Liu and Kristina Merkle from Tulsa.
The championships finals will be held May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., and will be hosted by The University of Georgia.Follow the Atlantic Sun on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.