Story Courtesy of KSU Media Relations
KENT, Ohio ? On the strength of wrapping up its 11th consecutive Mid-American Conference Championship over the weekend, Kent State learned its destination for the team’s ninth straight NCAA Regional appearance. Seeded sixth, the Golden Flashes will make the short trip to Columbus, Ohio May 7-9, with the release of the regional pairings by the NCAA Monday afternoon.
Hosted by The Ohio State University, the 54-hole event will take place at the Scarlet Golf Course. No. 1/2 UCLA, No. 5/4 Oklahoma State and No. 9/9 Purdue headline the 21-team Central Regional field, which includes eight schools ranked in either the Golfstat or Golfweek national polls (see complete list below). KSU stands 18th in the current Golfstat rankings and is 19th according to Golfweek.
The Flashes’ best regional showing came when they finished second in 2003. KSU has advanced to the NCAA Championship in 2001, 2003 and 2006.
Following a practice round on Wednesday, the Flashes will be paired with Wake Forest and Louisville Thursday with the first tee time set for 9:00 a.m. on the 10th tee.
Kent State put together yet another strong season under head coach Mike Morrow ? the only coach in the program’s 11-year history. The Golden Flashes opened the year by tying for the tournament title at the Mary Fossum Invitational in September, before going on to win the Ladies Midwest Shootout and the MAC Championship in April. KSU finished runner-up to host Ohio State at the Lady Buckeye Invitational, which was held April 19-20 on the Scarlet Course.
Named the MAC Player of the Year on Sunday (April 26), senior Kirby Dreher (Fort St. John, B.C.) leads the Flashes with a 74.1 scoring average and is ranked 27th by Golfweek. Freshman Mercedes Germino (Necochea, Argentina), who claimed medalist honors at the MAC Championship, is second at 75.0, while sophomore Martina Gavier (Cordoba, Argentina) is third at 76.4. Senior Maddi Swaney (Marietta, Ohio) and freshman Mandi Morrow (Kent, Ohio) round out the lineup with 79.6 and 78.5 averages, respectively.
Eight teams and two individuals will advance from each of the three regional sites (the other two are in Gainesville, Fla. and Tempe, Ariz.). The NCAA Championship will be held May 19-22 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md.
2009 NCAA Central Regional Field
1. UCLA 1/2
2. Oklahoma State (Big 12) 5/4
3. Purdue (Big Ten) 9/9
4. Wake Forest (ACC) 11/6
5. Louisville (Big East) 15/18
6. Kent State (Mid-American) 18/19
7. Michigan State 17/23
8. Ohio State 24/-
10. New Mexico (Mountain West)
11. Georgia State (CAA)
12. Notre Dame
13. North Carolina State
18. Murray State (Ohio Valley)
19. Illinois State (Missouri Valley)
20. Harvard (Ivy Group)
21. Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast)
Conference automatic qualifiers are indicated in parenthesis next to the institution.