April 29, 2013
BEAUMONT - Lamar University won its fourth Southland Conference title in women's golf two weeks ago to earn the league's automatic NCAA Tournament berth, and Monday evening the Lady Cardinals learned that they would be heading to the Central Regional.
Lamar will be one of 24 schools and six individuals competing at the Central Regional which will be played at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course in Norman, Okla. Three regional tournaments, each consisting of 24 teams and six individuals, will be held May 9-11 to determine the championships field.
Oklahoma will serve as tournament host to the Central Regional. Seven automatic qualifiers will be at the regional including Lamar. The Lady Cardinals are the only Southland Conference school in the field, with Central Arkansas' Julia Roth competing in Norman as an individual.
"We're excited about being in the Central Regional," said LU head coach Brian White who earned his second SLC Coach of the Year honor this season. "We get to play on grass we're used to and get to play a little closer to home. We're looking forward to going and trying to compete and happy for the opportunity."
The Lady Cardinals are making their third regional appearance as a team, and first since 1995 when they placed 16th in Tucson, Ariz. Lamar also played in the 1993 regionals in Tucson and finished 18th. Lamar's best finish at the national tournament was a seventh place showing in 1983.
Lamar is led by a pair of first-team all-conference golfers in senior Julie Aime and sophomore Nghi Ngo. Both players recorded individual victories this year as Lamar won a total of four tournament titles.
Junior Katelyn McDougal, who led Lamar with a fourth place finish at the conference tournament on her way to earning honorable mention all-conference honors, redshirt junior Lauren Van Gerven and freshman Taylor Stockton will round out Lamar's fivesome.
The NCAA Championships will be held May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., with the top eight teams and two individuals from each regional qualifying.