Aggies Ready For NCAA Golf West Regional

Chelsea Stelzmiller is playing in her fourth regional this week. <br>(Mark Honbo, Media Relations)
 
Chelsea Stelzmiller is playing in her fourth regional this week.
(Mark Honbo, Media Relations)
 

May 4, 2011

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AUBURN, Wash. - UC Davis makes its second consecutive team appearance in the postseason beginning Thursday when the 22nd-ranked Aggies open play in the NCAA Division I Women's Golf West Regional at Washington National Golf Club.

The eighth-seeded Aggies are no strangers to the regional, earning three team bids since their inaugural Div. I year in 2008 while being represented all four seasons.

They'll face a field of 24 teams in the regional - one of three being held across the country this week - looking to finish in the top eight and move on to the NCAA Finals on May 18-21 in College Station, Texas, for the second time.

The Aggies will be among the first teams to tee off in Thursday's opening round, opening at 8 a.m. and playing alongside seventh-seeded Iowa State and ninth-seeded Texas A&M. The 54-hole tournament continues through Saturday.

UC Davis will use the same lineup that helped it win its second straight Big West Championship two weeks ago in Rancho Santa Margarita. Seniors Alice Kim and Chelsea Stelzmiller, both playing in their fourth regional, will be joined by sophomores Demi Runas and Amy Simanton, and freshman Jessica Chulya.

Runas and Simanton participated in the regional last year, providing the Aggies more experience entering this year's tournament.

 

 

The regional, hosted by the University of Washington, features a trio of teams ranked in the top 10 including No. 1 USC, No. 6 Virginia and No. 7 Arizona. Those teams occupy the top three seeds in the regional and will be joined, in order, by 12th-ranked Georgia, No. 13 Tennessee and No. 20 Pepperdine in the top six seeds.

UC Davis is looking to advance past the regional for the first time since 2008 when the rookie program took down Stanford and Ohio State in a playoff, securing eighth-place and moving to the national finals where it placed 21st. Playing at Stanford last year, the Aggies finished 15th.

Kim and Stelzmiller, both Big West medalists and four-time all-conference selections during their careers, earned individual nods to the regional in 2009 with Kim eventually earning All-America honorable honors.

Both have helped lead a UC Davis team that this season moved into the national top 20 for the first time in program history and won two tournaments including the Big West title which it captured by a dominant 18 strokes.

Kim won the individual title, Runas was named the Big West Player of the Year and the pair were joined by Stelzmiller and Simanton on the All-Big West first team. Chulya earned honorable mention accolades while Anne Walker was tabbed Coach of the Year.

The Central Regional will be played at Warren Golf Course in Notre Dame, Ind., while the East Regional is being hosed at LPGA National in Daytona Beach Fla.