Six Big Ten Women's Golf Teams Invited to NCAA Regional Play
May 1, 2007
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Six Big Ten women's golf teams were selected on April 30 to compete in NCAA Regional competition. No. 6 seed and Big Ten Champion Michigan State will compete in the Central Regional along with No. 11 Ohio State, No. 12 Northwestern, No. 13 Michigan and No. 17 Indiana, while fourth-seeded Purdue, the conference's top-ranked team, will compete in the East Region.
The three regionals, which consist of 21 teams each, are scheduled for May 10-12, and the top eight teams and two individuals in each region will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 22-25, at the LPGA International Legends Course in Daytona Beach, Fla., hosted by the University of Central Florida and the Central Florida Sports Commission.
The Central Regional will be played at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan State received the Big Ten's automatic bid to NCAA regional competition after winning its first conference title since 2001. The Spartans, led by Big Ten Coach of the Year Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, Big Ten Champion Rachel Meikle and first-team All-Conference selection Sara Brown, are making their ninth-straight appearance in NCAA Regional competition.
Therese Hession will lead her Ohio State squad to its 13th-straight NCAA postseason appearance and its 14th in the last 16 years. The Buckeyes, who are paced by first-team All-Big Ten selection Dana Je and second-team honoree Gemma Webster, finished fourth last weekend at the Big Ten Championships in East Lansing, Mich.
Northwestern is making an NCAA Regional appearance for the seventh time in the last eight years. The Wildcats made NCAA Regional trips in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006, with the 2000 squad advancing to the NCAA Championships. NU is lead by 2006 Big Ten Champion Alice Kim, who is coming off a fifth-place finish at this year's event.
The host Wolverines earned their fourth NCAA Regional team bid in the last seven years. In 11 tournaments this season, Michigan posted team victories at the Wolverine Invitational and the Indiana Invitational, and have been led all season by seniors Ali Stinson and Brianna Broderick, a second-team All-Conference selection.
Indiana earned its first NCAA appearance under three-year head coach Clint Wallman's watch, after playing its way in with an impressive spring season. The Hoosiers finished fifth at the Big Ten Championships and recorded with three top-five results during the spring. Indiana battled through injuries for the majority of the year, but has been led by junior Elaine Harris, freshman Kellye Belcher and Anita Gahir, who placed tied for 15th at this year's conference championships.
Purdue, ranked seventh nationally according to Golfweek/Sagarin, is coming off a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships. The Boilermakers will represent the conference in the East Regional and will be led by four first-team All-Big Ten selections in Christel Boeljon, Stefanie Endstrasser, Myrte Eikenaar and Maria Hernandez. Boeljon led the Boilermakers at the Big Ten Championships with a second-place finish, while Hernandez was named the conference's Player of the Year and Mary Fossum Award winner for lowest stroke average to par. Endstrasser was tabbed the Big Ten Freshman of the Year while Eikenaar was selected as the team's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.
The East Regional will also be played May 10-12, at the University Club Golf Course in Baton Rouge, La., hosted by Louisiana State University.