ASU Women's Golf Coach Melissa Luellen Named West Region Coach of the Year

May 29, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State women's golf coach Melissa Luellen and four Sun Devil women's golfers were recognized over the weekend at the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) Awards Banquet held in Columbus, Ohio, site of the 2006 NCAA Women's Golf Championships.

Luellen was named the NGCA Division I West Region Coach of the Year while senior Alissa Kuczka (second team), freshmen Azahara Munoz (second team) and Jennifer Osborn (second team) and junior Tiffany Tavee (honorable mention) were named NGCA All-Americans.

Luellen, who was also named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year earlier this season, led the Sun Devils to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships over the weekend. In addition to being ASU's first top-five national finish since 1999, the fourth-place finish also represented the fourth consecutive year that ASU has ascended nationally under Luellen. Since taking over prior to the 2002-03 season, Luellen has led the Sun Devils to finishes of 18th (2003), 10th (2004), tied for eighth (2005) and now fourth (2006).

A Second-Team All-Pac-10 selection, Kuczka had her best season as a Sun Devil in 2005-06, finishing in the top 10 four times. Included in those four top-10 showings were two career-best second-place finishes at the Pac-10 Championships and the NCAA East Regional. The latter runner-up finish was sparked by a pair of career-best four-under 68s in the final two rounds to help ASU advance to the NCAA Championships with a fourth-place finish.

ASU's leader in stroke average (73.03), Munoz culminated her outstanding freshman campaign with a tie for sixth place at the NCAA Championships. A First-Team All-Pac-10 selection, Munoz finished in the top 10 eight times in 10 appearances, including a career-best third-place finish at the Wildcat Invitational. Munoz also finished tied for sixth at the Pac-10 Championships.

Osborn finished in the top 10 five times in 2005-06, including a first-place finish at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational and a second-place finish at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. Osborn's play during the first two rounds of the NCAA Championships helped the Sun Devils lead at the midway point of the tournament. A First-Team All-Pac-10 selection, Osborn also recorded a 12th-place finish at the NCAA East Regional.

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 Pac-10 Championships. A Second-Team All-Pac-10 selection, Tavee was ASU's second-highest finisher (21st place) at the NCAA Championships.

The National Golf Coaches Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women's collegiate golf coaches. The NGCA was formed to encourage the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the NGCA represents over 400 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student-athletes they represent.

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