No. 5 Women's Golf Heads to NCAA Championships Next Week

May 10, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Coming off a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Central Regional, the fifth-ranked Arizona State University women's golf team wraps up the 2004-05 season at the NCAA Championships May 17-20 in Sunriver, Ore. Oregon State University is hosting the 2005 NCAA Championships at the par 71, 6,312-yard Meadows Course at the Sunriver Resort. This season marks ASU's 14th straight trip to the NCAA Championships, the second-longest active streak in the nation (trailing only Stanford with 16). With top five finishes in 10 of 11 events this year, including three tournament victories, the Sun Devils head to the NCAA Championships looking for their first top five showing since 1999. Winners of six national crowns in the 1990s, ASU has finished in the top 15 in 20 of 22 trips to the NCAA Championships, including 16 top 10 showings (10th place last season).

About the NCAA ChampionshipsEighteen holes will be played Tuesday-Friday, May 17-20 beginning at 9 a.m. Pacific Time from tees No. 1 and No. 10 each day. First- and second-round pairings are predetermined based on seeding, while tee times for the final two rounds will be based on results. The top four scores from each five-person team will count toward the team score.

As the No. 4 seed from the Central Regional, ASU will be paired with Pepperdine and USC in the first and second rounds and will start on the 10th tee at 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday and the first tee at 9:50 a.m. on Wednesday.

ExposureLive hole-by-hole scoring will be available for each round of the NCAA Championships at www.golfstatresults.com, while a recap of each round will also be available at www.ncaasports.com and www.thesundevils.com.

The Golf Channel will provide television coverage of the final three rounds (one day tape delay) on Thursday-Saturday, May 19-21.

The FieldTwenty-four teams and a total of 126 players will compete in the 2005 NCAA Championships including eight teams and two individuals from each of three regionals. Team qualifiers from the NCAA Central Regional are Auburn, Texas A&M, Missouri, ASU, Tulsa, Purdue, Michigan State and Arkansas. Representing the East Regional are Ohio State, Duke, Furman, Pepperdine, Virginia, Tulane, Florida and Washington, while UCLA, Tennessee, California, Southern California, Oklahoma State, UC Irvine, Brigham Young and Stanford advanced from the West Regional.

ASU LineupASU's lineup at the NCAA Championships 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.).

Tone is making her fourth appearance in the NCAA Championships, while it is Kuczka's third. Tavee and Erasmus are headed to the national event for the second time, while Stahle is making her NCAA Championships debut this year. Kuckza and Tavee were ASU's top finishers at NCAAs last season, both tying for 37th.

14 in a RowThis year marks the 14th straight NCAA Championships appearance for the Sun Devils, which is the second-longest active streak in the country. Only Stanford (16) have made more consecutive NCAA Championships appearances. ASU has only missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships one time, failing to make the cut in 1991, one year after winning the first of the Sun Devils' six NCAA titles. ASU has finished in the NCAA top 15 20 times in the team's previous 22 appearances, including 16 top 10 showings.

NCAA HistoryThe Sun Devils have six NCAA team titles to their credit, all won in the 1990s with the most recent coming in 1998. ASU became the first women's golf team in NCAA history to 'three-peat,' sweeping the NCAA crowns from 1993-95. Individually, eight Sun Devils have won national medalist honors, most recently All-American Grace Park in 1999, while five others have been the national runner-up.

In the RankingsASU is ranked fifth in the nation in the May 8 Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and the May 6 Golf World Women's College Golf Coaches poll. 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 41st and junior Alissa Kuczka checks in at 44th.

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 71.44.
- 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).
- Has finished in the top five in eight of nine events she has played in this season, including four runner-up showings (most recently at the NCAA Central Regional).
- 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.
- 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.
- 15 of her 27 rounds have been at or below par this season.

Tiffany Tavee • 5-7 • Sophomore • Gilbert, Ariz.
- Second on the team with a 74.28 stroke average this season.
- Is ranked 41st 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 74.57 stroke average.
- Is ranked 44th in the country in the latest polls.
- Earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors this year after being an honorable-mention selection last season.
- Matched her best finish of the season with a tie for fourth place at the NCAA Central Regional (72-76-74=222).
- Finished 17th at the Pac-10 Championships (77-74-75=226).
- Has turned in five top 20 finishes this year, including three 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 75.71 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 effort 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 all-academic accolade of her career.

Charmaine Erasmus • 5-2 • Sophomore • Bradenton, Fla.
- Holds a 76.96 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 10 of 11 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.

Championship ExperienceBoth ASU head coach Melissa McNamara Luellen and assistant coach Missy Farr-Kaye have won a national title. Luellen was the 1988 NCAA individual medalist and led her Tulsa team to the 1988 NCAA title, while Farr-Kaye was a member of ASU's 1990 NCAA championship team which won the first of ASU's six NCAA titles in the 1990s.

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