Redbird Women's Golf Heads to NCAA Central Regional
Sligh led the Redbirds to the NCAA Regional in her first season at the helm
Sligh led the Redbirds to the NCAA Regional in her first season at the helm

May 7, 2008

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State women's golf team will begin its postseason run in Austin, Texas, when the Redbirds compete in the 2008 NCAA Central Regional Thursday-Saturday, May 8-10. The Redbirds are coming off a Missouri Valley Conference record ninth women's golf title and will play at the par-71, 7,412-yard University of Texas Golf Club as the No. 20 seed.

"We are excited about the challenge," said head coach Darby Sligh. "Our players are going to get a lot out of this experience. Each of them was forced to take their final exams a week early, and it has been a bit stressful. But we are going to learn a lot, and they will all gain a magnitude of experience out of playing in this event."

The University of Texas Golf Club, located between Lake Austin and Lake Travis in Steiner Ranch, was opened in November 2003. It is the permanent home for the Longhorns' men's and women's golf programs.

"It is going to be a great challenge," said Sligh. "It (the University of Texas Golf Club) is a great track. It is hilly, and you have to play placement golf. It is going to be good for our players to be on a challenging course because we have played all year with a survival mentality. That is going to help us out a lot this week."

The Redbirds are led by a pair of all-conference selections in redshirt sophomore Marisa Milligan and sophomore Stacey Miller. Milligan, who was also named MVC Newcomer of the Year, leads Illinois State with a scoring average of 76.1 and has placed in the top-20 in four of her five events played this spring. Miller, a first-team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete, has competed in all of ISU's 11 events this season and is second on the team in scoring average (77.8).

This week, Sligh's lineup will include Miller, Milligan, Laura Harris, Marci Hill and Tiffany Hockensmith.



"In order for us to advance, we are going to need everyone to have their career rounds," said Sligh. "We've talked about that, and everyone is ready to step up to the challenge. Obviously, we will need Stacey (Miller) and Marisa (Milligan) to really perform well, but when you get to this point, you need everyone to step up and play solid golf."

Sixty three teams in all will compete in three NCAA Regionals. Along with Austin, Texas, other regional sites include the University of Georgia Golf Course, home of the East Regional, hosted by Georgia; and the Lincoln Hills Golf Club, home of the West Regional, hosted by Sacramento State.

Eight teams and two individuals will advance from each regional to compete in the NCAA Finals being held Tuesday-Friday, May 20-23 at the University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course in Albuquerque, N.M.