TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 7, 2014) –The ETSU women’s golf team has made a habit of reaching goals and rankings that may have been considered unattainable just over a decade ago. On Thursday, the Buccaneers will get another chance to make history.
The Bucs will open play in the NCAA East Regional at the Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla., on Thursday, and will be setting their sights on playing well over the next three days – with a goal of earning the program’s first-ever team berth into the NCAA Championships.
“We’re excited to be competing in the East Regional this year,” said ETSU head coach Stefanie Shelton. “We’ve faced many of these teams this year and we know we can compete with them. Focusing on ourselves and playing our game going into the weekend would be a great place to be, and I feel like our ladies are prepared to take that next step.”
The Bucs, ranked No. 43 nationally in the latest GolfStat.com rankings, will face a tough field comprised of 24 teams – all playing for a spot in the top-eight. Those top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Finals which will be held at the Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. The field is led by No. 2 ranked Duke, which has claimed four tournament victories this season. South Carolina and Stanford also are teams ranked in the top-10 that will be on the course at the East Regional.
ETSU is in its second consecutive regional tournament, and fourth in program history. The Bucs have not advanced to the championship stage previously, but have an experienced squad heading into the regional. Seniors Sian Evans (Gillingham, England) and Lourdes Lopez (Cadiz, Spain), junior Gabriella Wahl (Heidenheim, Germany) and sophomore Vivienne Chin (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia) were on the team last year and have gone through the experience of playing in a NCAA Regional.
Chin has shown her improvement this season, culminating in winning individual medalist honors at the A-Sun Championships. Meanwhile, Linda Dobele (Ogre, Latvia) is the only newcomer among the group, as the freshman from Latvia joined the team this season. She played in all spring events and helped the team to their second straight A-Sun title.
For more on ETSU women’s golf throughout the NCAA East Regional, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s golf link.
ETSU Notes: Two players, Sian Evans and Gabriella Wahl, had stroke averages under 75.0; Wahl led team with 74.5 … Lourdes Lopez finished inside the top-25 in five events this season; her best finish a tied for 12th at A-Sun Championship … ETSU finished in the top-10 in every tournament they played; Posted two tournament victories, including the A-Sun Championship … Individually, ETSU players posted 12 top-10 finishes, led by Wahl's four.