Women's Golf Heads to NCAA Championships Next Week
May 11, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Coming off seventh-place finish at the NCAA West Regional Championships last week, the Arizona State women's golf team will wrap up the 2003-04 season at the NCAA Championships May 18-21. Auburn University is hosting the 2004 NCAA Championships on the par 72, 6,215-yard Grand National Lake Course in Opelika, Ala. The 28th-ranked Sun Devils earned their 13th straight trip to the NCAA Championships by finishing seventh at the NCAA West Regional, held May 6-8 at the Stanford Golf Course. Winners of six national crowns in the 1990s, the Sun Devils have finished in the top 15 in 20 of 22 trips to the NCAA Championships.
Twenty-four teams and a total of 126 players will compete in the 2004 NCAA Championships including eight teams and two individuals from each of three regionals. Team qualifiers from the NCAA West Regional are UCLA, California, Stanford, Washington, Georgia, Ohio State, Arizona State and Texas. Representing the East Regional are Duke, UNLV, North Carolina, Florida State, Wake Forest, Furman, Tennessee and Oklahoma State, while Vanderbilt, Arizona, Michigan State, USC, Baylor, Purdue, New Mexico and Texas A&M advanced from the Central Regional.
About the NCAA ChampionshipsEighteen holes will be played Tuesday-Friday, May 18-21 beginning at 8 a.m. Central Daylight 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. 7 seed from the West, Arizona State will be paired with New Mexico and Tennessee in the first and second rounds and will tee off No. 10 at 8:10 a.m. CDT (6:10 a.m. Arizona Time) on Tuesday and off No. 1 at 12:30 p.m. CDT (10:30 a.m. Arizona Time) on Wednesday. Live, hole-by-hole scoring will be available for each round of the NCAA Championships at www.golfstatlive.com.
Sun Devil LineupArizona State's lineup for the 2004 NCAA Championships includes sophomore Alissa Kuczka (Phoenix, Ariz.), true freshman Tiffany Tavee (Gilbert, Ariz.), redshirt freshman Danelle Perata (Vacaville, Calif.), junior Erin Tone (Gilbert, Ariz.) and true freshman Charmaine Erasmus (Bradenton, Fla.). Kuczka and Tavee are the highest ranked Sun Devils at 77th and 80th, respectively, in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
13 in a RowThis year marks the 13th straight NCAA Championships appearance for the Sun Devils, which is the third-longest active streak in the country. Only Arizona (18 consecutive bids) and Stanford (15) 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.
Youth MovementArizona State heads to the NCAA Championships this year with one of its youngest lineups in recent years. The active roster features just one upperclassman, junior Erin Tone. The rest of the lineup features a sophomore (Alissa Kuczka), a redshirt freshman (Danelle Perata) and two true freshmen (Charmaine Erasmus and Tiffany Tavee).
Only two players in the lineup have been to the NCAA Championships before with Tone making her third appearance and Kuczka her second. This year marks the first NCAA appearance for Erasmus, Perata and Tavee.
This season, ASU has had an underclassman (freshman or sophomore) as its top finisher in 10 of 12 events. Tavee was the top finisher in four events, and Kuczka has accomplished the feat in three. Kuczka and Tavee both earned 2004 honorable-mention All-Pac-10 accolades and tied as ASU's top finishers in one event this season.
Head Coach Melissa LuellenMelissa Luellen is in her second year as the head coach of the Arizona State women's golf team. 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 and the 1988 NCAA individual medalist, 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 Luellen and assistant coach Missy Farr-Kaye have won a national title. Luellen was the 1988 NCAA 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.