April 28, 2008
DAVIS, Calif. -- The UC Davis women's golf team, in just its third year of varsity status, reached another milestone on Monday when the Aggies were selected to participate in the NCAA Division I West Region Championships on May 8-10 at Lincoln Hills Golf Club.
The Aggies are one of 21 teams competing at the NCAA West Regional site and one of 63 teams selected to the championship overall. The East Regional will be played at Athens, Ga., while the Central Regional will be contested at Austin, Texas. Sacramento State is the host school for the West Regional.
The top eight teams from each regional will advance to the national championship tournament on May 20-23 at the University of New Mexico.
UC Davis earned an at-large berth to the regional in just its first-year of eligibility at the Division I level.
"We're just very excited to be in our third year and to be competing in the NCAA championship so early," said head coach Kathy DeYoung who helped start the program in 2004 after retiring from a highly successful career as softball coach which included a Div. II championship in 2003. The Aggies began their first year of golf competition in 2005.
The NCAA West Regional will be played at the par-72 Orchard Course at Lincoln Hills Golf Club with 18 holes played each of the three days. UC Davis will have some familiarity with the course after having finished in a tie for fourth at the NCAA Western Regional Preview Tournament in March. The course, however, is being lengthened by 328 yards to 6,338 yards for the regional championship next week.
The Aggies have finished no lower than seventh place in any tournament since last October, posting a win at the USF/Richmond CC Invitational in October, and runner-up showings this spring at the Kitahara Fresno State Invitational, Oregon Duck Invitational and Big West Conference Championships.
UC Davis will use the same lineup next week that it had for the conference championship tournament, a quintet that includes senior Sydney Roughton, junior Bryana Gregory and freshmen Chelsea Stelzmiller, Alice Kim and Katie Sisler. Stelzmiller enters the regional after claiming Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year honors from the Big West after tying for first at the league tournament.
UC Davis will be joined in the West Regional by USC, Arizona State, Arkansas, Arizona, Oklahoma State, California, Michigan State, Stanford, BYU, Tulsa, North Carolina, Ohio State, San Jose State, Oklahoma, Oregon, UNLV, UC Irvine, Fresno State, Oral Roberts and Portland State. Three individuals were also selected to play in each regional.
"The bid will really help with our recognition in the Division I women's golf community," said DeYoung.
"At the start of our program (in 2005), it was one of our goals to see if we could make the tournament (this year)," she said. Gregory is one of four players on the roster who have been with the program since its inception.
Women's golf joins women's gymnastics, women's water polo, men's and women's cross country, wrestling and men's soccer as representing UC Davis in NCAA Championships so far during the 2007-08 academic year.