Lady Raiders Tee Off at NCAA West Regional Thursday|
Beverly Mendoza will be in the lineup when the Lady Raiders tee off the NCAA West Regional Thursday.
May 8, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech's quest for its second NCAA Championships appearance begins Thursday morning when the Lady Raiders open the NCAA West Regional held at the Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, Colo.
The Lady Raiders will be the No. 10 seed in the three-day, 54-hole tournament where the top eight finishers will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 22-25, in Franklin, Tenn. Tech's only appearance in the national tournament came in 1996.
In the two previous postseason appearances under head coach JoJo Robertson, Tech finished no better than ninth (2010) after a 16th place performance a year ago.
"It feels good to be back in the postseason," Robertson said. "We have an experienced lineup that has played in the postseason before so we should be ready and prepared on Thursday. Going to the postseason three-straight years is good but at some point it's time to take the next step and I think our team is ready for that challenge."
The third-year head coach will be going with the same lineup she used at the Big 12 Championships in juniors Deborah DeVilla, Gabby Dominguez, and Kim Kaufman along with sophomores Hannah Arnold and Beverly Mendoza.
The group wrapped the conference championships in seventh place after battling cold and windy conditions over three days. Tech will see three conference foes during the regional in No. 6 seed Baylor, Big 12 Champion and No. 9 seed Oklahoma and No. 13 Iowa State.
Defending national champion UCLA enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed followed by LSU, North Carolina, host Colorado, and California. Pepperdine and UC Davis complete the top 10 seeds at No. 8 and No. 9, respectively.
The Lady Raiders will have some familiarity with the Colorado National Golf Club as Dominguez, Kaufman, and Mendoza all played the course in 2009 when Tech claimed the Heather Farr Memorial Classic title. All three then-freshmen finished in the top 25 at the tournament that was just the second event under Robertson's guidance.
Tech opens the tournament paired with Tulsa and TCU over the first 18 holes. Arnold is expected to be the first Lady Raider on the course as she will tee off from the 10th hole at 8:30 a.m. CT Thursday.
TexasTech.com will have full on-site coverage throughout the tournament.