FAYETTEVILLE — The No. 35 University of Arkansas women’s golf team was selected to the NCAA West Regional Championship it was announced today in a conference call sponsored by the NCAA.
This year’s West Regional is hosted by Stanford, in Palo Alto, Calif., May 6-8, at the Stanford University Golf Course. The Regional selection is the ninth in program history and the eighth in a row for the Razorbacks.
“I’m really excited about going West,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “Kelli (Shean), Alex (Schulte) and Kristin (Ingram) have all played the course and we’ve had some good success there. We know what to expect and how to prepare. You can plan on solid weather and I think it’ll be a great week for us.”
Arkansas’ regional history began in 2000 when then-head coach Ulrika Belline and the Razorbacks earned the program’s first selection to the East Regional at Columbus, Ohio.
The field expanded shortly after the 2000 season from two Regional sites, an East and a West, to three, adding a Central Regional opportunity.
Arkansas returned to Regional competition in 2003 under the direction of head coach Kelley Hester competing in three consecutive Central Regional Tournaments, the West Regional in 2006 and again in the Central in 2007.
Estes-Taylor took over the reins of the program in 2007-08 leading Arkansas to back-to-back West Regional appearances before earning this year’s third consecutive West Regional appearance.
The tough field includes No. 1 UCLA, No. 6 Alabama, No. 7 Arizona, No. 12 Ohio State, No. 13 Virginia, No. 15 Stanford, No. 19 LSU, No. 24 California, No. 25 Texas A&M, No. 29 Texas, No. 31 UC-Davis, No. 37 UNLV, No. 39 UC-Irvine, No. 45 San Jose State, No. 41 San Francisco, No. 51 Idaho, No. 56 Iowa State, No. 57 Maryland, No. 61 Colorado Sate, No. 65 Oral Roberts, No. 90 Texas State, No. 112 Pennsylvania and No. 117 Portland State.
Twenty-one teams are selected to each of the three NCAA Regional sites with the top eight team finishers advancing to the NCAA Championship. The other Regional sites are Indiana University and East Carolina State with UNC-Wilmington hosting the NCAA Championship May 18-21.
“All the Regional sites are very even,” Estes-Taylor noted. “The teams are very evenly dispersed and there really isn’t a clear advantage at any one site.
“Our goal is to go out there and take care of business,” she continued. “We’ve been working toward this for 190-plus days and we’re ready to go.”