TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Campbell set a school record for lowest 54-hole score in NCAA post-season play and earned a berth in the national championship after finishing eighth Saturday in the NCAA East Regional women's golf championship at SouthWood Golf Club.
The Camels (291-290-298—879) finished the event at 15-over 879 (291-290-298) edged 14th-ranked Pepperdine (29-297-293—880) by one stroke for the eighth and final qualifying spot from the regional in the NCAA Championship, which will be played May 20-23 at Tulsa, Okla., Country Club.
It took record-breaking effort for the Camels to earn their first trip to the national tournament since 1997 when the Camels finished fifth in the regional and 14th in the NCAA Championship.
But it took nearly five hours for the Camels to learn that they had secured the final NCAA Championship berth after concluding their round shortly after 2:00 p.m.
"I'm feeling joy obviously, excitement certainly, but the exhaustion level right now is really hard to explain," said Campbell head coach John Crooks, who has guided the team to 17 regional berths in the last 22 seasons. "The last five hours, everything was out of our control. I was dealing with five players for the most part that had a really good day, but had a mistake here or there. And all five were each blaming themselves because it wasn't a cakewalk to get into the top eight."
Led by medalist Jenny Hahn, No.-12 Vanderbilt led wire-to-wire to win the East Regional, finishing 24-under (277-289-274—840) on the par-72, 6257-yard SouthWood layout. Hahn was six-under Saturday to finish at 9-under (68-76-66—207).
Fifth-ranked South Carolina finished second (854), while No.-2 Duke and No.-26 NC State tied for third at four-under-par 860. Eighth-ranked Stanford was fifth (866), followed by No.-20 Virginia (869) and No.-34 Tulane (871).
Ranked No.-49 in the latest Golfstat NCAA rating, Campbell finished in front of nine other schools rated in the national top-50, including Baylor (881) and host and 30th-ranked Florida State (882). East Carolina was 14th (886), No.-24 Auburn 15th (887), Georgia 16th (888) and No.-17 UCF 17th (890).
Hayley Davis of Baylor (72-71-67—210) and Kendall Martindale of Vandy (72-71-67—210) tied for runner-up honors. Davis and Gabriella Wahl of ETSU (68 75 69—212) earned individual bids as the top two players not on qualifying teams. Wahl defeated Grace Na of Pepperdine (69-72-71—212) on the fourth playoff hole to earn the berth.
Tahnia Ravnjak led Campbell by tying for 18th place (73-69-73) at one-under-par 215. Junior Lisbeth Brooks (71-72-74) tied for 24th at two-over 217. Senior Kaylin Yost tied for 47th (73-74-75—222). Freshmen Louise Latorre (76-75-76—227) and Nadine White 74-78-77—229 tied for 79th and 96th, respectively in the 126-golfer field.
Both Ravnjak and Brooks bettered the previous school individual record for lowest 54-hole total in post-season play set by Michelle Koh (78-69-71—218) at the 2012 East Regional. CU also set the old team mark (313-290-290—893) in that 2012 event at State College, Pa.
"We played well enough to qualify," said Crooks. "You can look at the 16 teams we beat here and drop all the names you want in Pepperdine, Auburn, Baylor, Central Florida, Georgia and so on. East Carolina made a big run, but in the end we were better today. We are looking forward to heading to Tulsa to compete with 23 other teams for a national title."
2014 NCAA Division I East Regional
SouthWood GC/Tallahassee, Fla
May 8-10, 2014/Par 72, 6257 Yards
Final Team Results (Top 8 teams qualify for NCAA Championship): 1. Vanderbilt 277-289-274—840, 2. South Carolina 291-283-280—854, T3. North Carolina State 286-294-280—860, T3. Duke 284-288-288—860, 5. Stanford 291-286-289—866, 6. Virginia 283-292-294—869, 7. Tulane 280-294-297—871, 8. Campbell 291-290-298—879, 9. Pepperdine 290-297-293—880, 10. Baylor 297-300-284—881, T11. Florida State 290-295-297—882, T11. East Tennessee State 289-300-293—882, 13. Texas State 289-299-297—885, 14. East Carolina 297-295-294—886, 15. Auburn 293-301-293—887, 16. Georgia 298-296-294—888, 17. Central Florida 289-303-298—890, 18. Louisville 295-301-300—896, 19. Kentucky 295-304-299—898, 20. Troy 296-308-303—907, 21. Seton Hall 302-301-309—912, 22. College of Charleston 299-308-307—914, 23. Murray State 307-316-311—934, 24. Alabama State 315-314-308—937.
Final Individual Leaders: 1. Jenny Hahn (Vanderbilt) 68-73-66—207, #T2. Hayley Davis (Baylor) 72-71-67—210, T2. Kendall Martindale (Vanderbilt) 72-71-67—210, T4. Justine Dreher (South Carolina) 75-70-66—211, T4. Irina Gabasa (Vanderbilt) 70-72-69—211, T4. Augusta James (NC State) 69-73-69—211.
# Top two individuals not on top 8 teams qualify for NCAA championship
#T2. Hayley Davis (Baylor) 72-71-67—210
# T7. Gabriella Wahl (ETSU) 68 75 69—212
Campbell Individuals: T18. Tahnia Ravnjak 73-69-73—215, T24. Lisbeth Brooks 71-72-74—217, T47. Kaylin Yost 73-74-75—222, T79. Louise Latorre 76-75-76—227, T96. Nadine White 74-78-77—229.