ASU Women's Golf Team Travels to North Carolina for NCAA East Regional
May 9, 2006
Coming off a second-place finish at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships, the No. 3 Arizona State women's golf team returns to action this week, when it travels to Bryan Park, N.C., for the NCAA East Regional Championship (May 11-13).
The East Regional, which will be held at the Bryan Park Golf Course (par 72, 6,386 yards), will be one of three regional championships taking place that will determine the field for the 2006 NCAA Championships, taking place May 23-26 at the Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State University will be the host school). Twenty-one teams and three individuals have qualified for each of the three regional championships. In addition to the East Regional there will also be regional championships taking place in Las Auburn, Wash., (University of Washington hosting) and in College Station, Texas (Texas A&M hosting). The top eight teams and two individuals from each regional will qualify for the 2006 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships
ABOUT THE NCAA EAST REGIONAL
The participants will play 18 holes each day Thursday through Saturday, May 11-13 beginning at 8 a.m. Eastern (5 a.m. Arizona time) from tees No. 1 and No. 10. The women's golf committee assigned pairings and tee times for the first two rounds based on seed within each region. For the second round, players' positions will change within their teams based on first-round scores. For the third-round teams will be paired according to score. ASU will be paired with Auburn and Tennessee during the first two rounds of competition. The trio of schools will begin from the first tee on Thursday at 9 a.m. EST and from the 10th tee on Friday at 1:20 p.m. EST.
Twenty-one teams and three individuals have qualified for the 2006 NCAA East Regional, including (in order of seeding) No. 3 Arizona State, No. 4 Auburn, No. 9 Tennessee, No. 13 Wake Forest, No. 11 California, No. 14 Vanderbilt, No. 18 Virginia, South Carolina, LSU, Florida State, Alabama, NC State, Augusta State, Maryland, Furman, North Carolina, Mississippi State, Campbell, College of Charleston, East Carolina and Yale. Individual qualifiers include Adrienne White of Louisville, Christina Jones of South Florida and Michelle Jarman of UNC Wilmington.
The field has five conference champions including Auburn (SEC), Campbell (Atlantic Sun), College of Charleston (Southern), East Carolina (Conference USA) and Yale (Ivy). The Sun Devils, who recently finished second at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships, will be looking for their first regional championship since 1997.
Last year, ASU finished fourth at the NCAA Central Regional, held May 5-7 at the Jerry S. Rawls Golf Course in Lubbock, Texas. With their fourth-place finish, the Sun Devils qualified for their 14th straight trip to the NCAA Championships. Individually speaking, former ASU golfer Louise Stahle was ASU's top finisher at last year's NCAA Central Regional with a second-place finish (+3). Also finishing in the top five was current Sun Devil Alissa Kuczka, who finished tied for fourth place (+6).
Live scoring for the 2006 NCAA East Regional Championship will be available for each round at www.golfstatresults.com, while a recap will also be available at the conclusion of each round at www.thesundevils.com.
ASU INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS
Individually speaking, four Sun Devils are ranked in the top 25 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Freshman Azahara Munoz is No. 7; freshman Jennifer Osborn is No. 15; senior Alissa Kuczka is No. 19 and junior Tiffany Tavee is No. 24.
ASU'S NCAA REGIONAL HISTORY
ASU is making its 14th consecutive bid in 14 years of NCAA regional action. ASU will be outside of the West Regional for the second consecutive season after playing in the West Regional in its first 12 regional bids. 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 10 times in its 13 previous regional appearances most recently last season when it finished fourth.
Arizona State women's golf coach Melissa Luellen was named the Pac-10's Coach of the Year following her team's second-place finish at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships. In voting done by Pac-10 coaches, Luellen was honored for a season in which she has led the Sun Devils to a No. 3 national ranking and nine top-five finishes.
In addition to Luellen, four other Sun Devils were honored as part of the Pac-10's All-Conference Teams. Freshmen Azahara Munoz and Jennifer Osborn were both named to the All-Pac-10 First Team while senior Alissa Kuczka and junior Tiffany Tavee were both named All-Pac-10 Second Team.
Munoz (7) and Osborn (5) have combined for 12 top-10 finishes this year. Included in Munoz' finishes this season was a third-place showing at the Wildcat Invitational and a sixth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. Osborn has three top-five finishes to her credit this season.
Kuczka and Tavee have also been key performers this season in helping the Sun Devils ascend to their current No. 3 national ranking. Kuczka has posted three top-10 finishes this season, including a career-best second-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. Tavee had the lowest round of any Sun Devil this year when she had a 66 in the first round of the PING/ASU Invitational. That score helped propel her to an eventual sixth-place finish in the tournament, one of three top-10 finishes on the year, including a tie for 10th place at the Pac-10 Championships.
HEAD COACH Melissa Luellen
2006 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Melissa Luellen is in her fourth year as the head coach of the Arizona State University women's golf team. Last year, she guided the Sun Devils to an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championships and a total of nine top 5 showings, including wins in three tournaments. Already this season, she has led the team to top five finishes in nine of 10 events, including two tournament victories.
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 Region Coach of the Year.
2005-06 BIO UPDATES
Charmaine Erasmus 5-2 Junior Bradenton, Fla. Is currently sixth on the team with a 77.22 stroke average. Has competed in six tournaments this season. Tied for 15th at the 2006 PING/ASU Invitational. Tied her career low round of 71 at the 2005 Stanford/Pepsi Invitational.
Alissa Kuczka 5-4 Senior Phoenix, Ariz. The No. 19 ranked player in the country, is currently third on the team with a 73.92 stroke average. Second-Team All-Pac-10 selection. Six rounds of golf prior to the NCAA Regional have included two 71s and two 72s. Has finished in the top 10 three times this season, including a career-best second-place finish at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships. Shot a career-low 69 in the second round of the 2006 Wildcat Invitational.
Azahara Munoz 5-5 Freshman Malaga, Spain Currently ranked No. 7 in the nation. First-Team All-Pac-10 selection. First on the team with a 72.79 stroke average. Shot a career-best 67 at the 2006 PING/ASU Invitational. Has finished in the top 10 seven times in eight appearances. Finished tied for sixth (+4) at 2006 Pac-10 Championships. Had a season-best third-place finish (-4) at the Wildcat Invitational. Tied for sixth (E) at the PING/ASU Invitational.
Jennifer Osborn 5-8 Freshman Huntington Beach, Calif. The No. 15 ranked player in the country, is currently second on the team with a 73.59 stroke average. First-Team All-Pac-10 selection. Has finished in the top 10 five times this season, including a first-place finish at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational (-1) and a second-place finish at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge (+2). Shot a 4-under at Wildcat Invitational to tie for third.
Tiffany Tavee 5-7 Junior Gilbert, Ariz. The No. 24 ranked player in the country, is currently fourth on the team with a 74.14 stroke average. Second-Team All-Pac-10 selection. Has finished in the top 10 three times. Shot a career-low round of 66 at the 2006 PING/ASU Invitational, the lowest round of any ASU player this season. Eventually finished the tournament tied for sixth, her best finish of the season. Placed seventh at the 2006 Wildcat Invitational after shooting 3-under for the tournament (74, 69, 67).