No. 3 Women's Golf Heads to NCAA Central Regional Next Week

April 28, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Coming off a second-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships, the third-ranked Arizona State University women's golf team returns to action next week, traveling to Lubbock, Texas, for the 2005 NCAA Central Regional. Texas Tech University will play host to the tournament Thursday-Saturday, May 5-7 at the par 72, 6,328-yard Jerry S. Rawls Course. ASU has earned the No. 2 seed at the Central Regional and has earned its 13th consecutive bid in 13 years of NCAA regional action. With top five finishes in nine of 10 events this season, including three tournament victories, the Sun Devils head to the regional looking to qualify for the NCAA Championships for the 14th straight season. ASU has finished in the top five nine times in 12 years of NCAA regional action, including three wins (most recently in 1997).

About the NCAA Central RegionalThe participants will play 18 holes each day Thursday through Saturday, May 5-7 beginning at 7:30 a.m. Central (5:30 a.m. Arizona) from tees No. 1 and No. 10. The final group tees off at 1:20 p.m. each day. First- and second-round pairings are predetermined based on seeding, while final-round pairings will be based on team results after the first two rounds. The top four scores from each five-person team will count toward the team score each round.

As the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Central Regional, ASU will play with top-seeded Auburn and third-seeded New Mexico on Thursday and Friday. The team starts off the first tee at 8:30 a.m. CT (6:30 a.m. Arizona) on Thursday and off the 10th tee at 12:40 p.m. CT (10:40 a.m. Arizona) on Friday.

The FieldTwenty-one teams and three individuals have qualified for the 2005 NCAA Central Regional, including (in order of seeding) Auburn, Arizona State, New Mexico, LSU, Wake Forest, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, Tulsa, TCU, Southern Methodist, Purdue, Michigan State, Kent State, Baylor, Texas A&M, South Florida, Texas Tech, Notre Dame, Long Island. Individual qualifiers include Louise Kenney of Iowa State, Emily Milberger of Oklahoma and Merynn Ito of Nebraska.

This year's NCAA Central Regional features 18 teams ranked in the top 50 in the April 27 Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, including No. 3 Auburn, No. 4 ASU, No. 12 LSU, No. 14 New Mexico, No. 15 Wake Forest, No. 18 Missouri, No. 20 Arkansas, No. 21 Texas, No. 22 Tulsa, No. 27 Michigan, No. 28 TCU, No. 31 Baylor, No. 32 SMU, No. 33 Purdue, No. 36 Kent State, No. 38 Texas A&M, No. 39 Michigan State and No. 47 South Florida.

ASU LineupASU's lineup at the NCAA Central Regional will feature freshman Louise Stahle (Lund, Sweden), sophomore Tiffany Tavee (Gilbert, Ariz.), junior Alissa Kuczka (Phoenix, Ariz.), senior Erin Tone (Gilbert, Ariz.) and sophomore Charmaine Erasmus (Brandenton, Fla.).

Live ScoringLive scoring for the 2005 NCAA Central Regional will be available at www.golfstatresults.com, while a recap of each round will also be available at www.thesundevils.com.

Qualifying for the NCAA ChampionshipsTwenty-one teams and three individuals have qualified for each of the three regionals with New Mexico State University playing host to the West Regional at the NMSU Golf Course in Las Cruces, N.M., Texas Tech University hosting the Central Regional at the Jerry S. Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas, and the University of Florida playing host to the East Regional at the University Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla.

The top eight teams and two individuals from each region will qualify for the 2005 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships to be held May 17-20 at the Meadows Golf Course in Sunriver, Ore. (Oregon State University, host).

The Sun Devils are looking to qualify for their 14th straight NCAA Championships appearance. ASU currently holds the third-longest active postseason streak in the country. Only Arizona (17 consecutive bids) and Stanford (14) have made more consecutive NCAA Championship appearances. Arizona State has finished in the top 15 nationally a total of 20 times in the team's 22 NCAA appearances, including 16 top 10 showings (10th last season).

In the RankingsASU is ranked third in the nation in both the latest Golfstat and National Golf Coaches Association coaches' poll and fourth in the April 27 Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Individually, freshman Louise Stahle continues to be ranked No. 1 in the nation in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, while sophomore Tiffany Tavee is listed at 29th and junior Alissa Kuczka checks in at 47th.

NCAA Regional HistoryASU is making its 13th consecutive bid in 13 years of NCAA regional action, although this season marks the first time that the Sun Devils will compete in an event other than the West Regional. ASU has won a regional championship three times, winning outright in 1993 and 1997 and tying for first in 1995, while the team has finished in the top five nine times in its 12 previous regional appearances.

Last season, ASU finished seventh at the NCAA West Regional, held May 6-8 in Palo Alto, Calif., at the Stanford Golf Course. Danelle Perata was ASU's top finisher at last year's regional, tying for 25th individually.

Pac-10 HonorsFour Sun Devils earned All-Pac-10 honors this season, led by freshman Louise Stahle who was named the Pac-10 Golfer of the Year, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. She is the second Sun Devil to earn Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors (the other was Miriam Nagl in 2000). Junior Alissa Kuczka and sophomore Tiffany Tavee both earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors after being honorable-mention selections last season, while senior Erin Tone's honorable-mention accolade is the first of her career.

Sun Devil Bio Updates

Louise Stahle • 5-8 • Freshman • Lund, Sweden
- Holds the nation's best stroke average at 71.25.
- Is the top-ranked player in the country, the first Sun Devil to hold the nation's No. 1 spot since All-American Miriam Nagl in 2000.
- Was named the Pac-10 Golfer of the Year, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a first-team All-Pac-10 selection.
- Has won three tournaments this season, most recently winning ASU's ninth individual Pac-10 championship.
- Came from four strokes behind in the final round to earn a two-stroke victory at the Pac-10s at nine-under 207 (69-71-67).
- Captured individual medalist honors at the PING/ASU Invitational in April at seven-under 209.
- Was named the April 8 Golf World Collegiate Player of the Week after her victory in the PING/ASU Invitational.
- Has finished in the top five in seven of eight events she has played in this season.
- Won the first tournament of her ASU career with a one-stroke victory in the Wildcat Invitational in Tucson in February (64-72-73).
- Tied the school record for lowest round vs. par with a six-under 64 in the first round in Tucson.
- Finished in a tie for 37th at the LPGA Safeway International in March after winning the amateur open to earn an exemption in the professional event.
- Also played for the winning Swedish team at the Women's World Amateur Championships in Puerto Rico in October.

Tiffany Tavee • 5-7 • Sophomore • Gilbert, Ariz.
- Second on the team with a 73.69 stroke average this season.
- Is ranked 29th in the nation in the most recent polls.
- Earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors this year after being an honorable-mention selection last season.
- Has turned in five top 10 showings this season.
- Tied for sixth at the Pac-10 Championships at one-over 217 (73-74-70).
- Best finish was a tie for fourth at the Price's Give 'Em Five Intercollegiate in October.
- Finished in sixth at the PING/ASU Invitational at one-over 217 (74-71-72).
- Carded a career-best four-under par 67 in the final round of the Mercedes Benz of Bend Fall Preview in September.

Alissa Kuczka • 5-4 • Junior • Phoenix, Ariz.
- Third on the team with a 74.63 stroke average.
- Is ranked 47th in the country in the latest polls.
- Earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors this year after being an honorable-mention selection last season.
- Finished 17th at the Pac-10 Championships (77-74-75=226).
- Has turned in four top 20 finishes this year, including a pair of top 10 showings.
- Finished fourth at the Kent Youel Invitational in October at one-under 215 (70-72-73).
- Her two-under 70 in the first round at that tournament marked a career-low round.
- Also tied for 10th at October's Stanford/Pepsi Intercollegiate.
- Was a Pac-10 all-academic honorable-mention selection in 2004.

Erin Tone • 5-9 • Senior • Gilbert, Ariz.
- Has played in ASU's starting lineup all four years of her career.
- Holds a 75.50 stroke average this season.
- Earned honorable-mention All-Pac-10 honors, the first all-league selection of her career.
- Has finished in the top 20 three times this year.
- Tied for 23rd at the Pac-10 Championships.
- Best finish came at the PING/ASU Invitational where she finished seventh at two-over 218 (74-72-72).
- Is a three-time National Golf Coaches Association All-Academic honoree and has been on ASU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for three years.
- Earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors last season, the second league honoree of her career.

Charmaine Erasmus • 5-2 • Sophomore • Bradenton, Fla.
- Holds a 76.63 stroke average this season.
- Tied for 31st at the Pac-10 Championships.
- Finished in seventh at the Price's Give 'Em Five Intercollegiate in October at eight-over 224 (74-75-75).
- Tied for 22nd at the Kent Youel Invitational in October.
- Carded a season-low round of even-par 72 at that event.

Head Coach Melissa LuellenMelissa Luellen is in her third year as the head coach of the Arizona State University women's golf team. Last year, she guided the Sun Devils to a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Championships and a total of seven top 10 showings, including a season-best tie for fourth at the Pac-10 Championships. Already this season, she has led the team to top five finishes in nine of 10 events, including three tournament victories (Price's Give 'Em Five Intercollegiate, Stanford/Pepsi Intercollegiate and PING/ASU Invitational). ASU has also turned in three runner-up finishes to go along with its three wins this season, including a second-place showing at the Pac-10 Championships, the team's highest finish at the conference tournament since 1998.

Luellen came to ASU after two seasons as the head coach at her alma mater, the University of Tulsa. A former All-American for the Golden Hurricane, she succeeded her mother, Dale McNamara, who retired in 2000 following a 26-year career that saw her Tulsa teams win four national championships. In her two seasons as Tulsa's head coach, Luellen led her team to seven tournament titles including back-to-back Western Athletic Conference and NCAA Central Regional championships. She also earned WAC Coach of the Year honors in each of her two seasons and was the 2002 Central Regional Coach of the Year.

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