May 23, 2014
TULSA, Okla. - The Michigan State women's golf team finished in 20th place at the NCAA Championships after shooting an 8-over-par 288 in Friday's final round at the Tulsa Country Club. Overall, the Spartans carded their lowest-ever score at the NCAA Championships with a 58-over-par 1178 (305-283-302-288), including their two lowest rounds in program history at nationals (283 in second round, 288 in fourth round).
Senior Allyssa Ferrell became just the third Spartan to place in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships as she shot a 3-over 283 (69-69-72-73), which is the lowest 72-hole score in school history. Ferrell also owns the lowest 54-hole score at MSU (207).
"We were in the ballpark today (with our score)," said MSU head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, who has led the Spartans to 10 of the past 15 NCAA Championships. "The bottom line is that when you're at the national championships and you're playing with the 24 best teams in the country, there's not much room for error. When you look at our body of work for the week, we played three rounds that would have kept us in where we wanted to be (top eight), but that one round (Thursday's 302) really hurt us (dropping the Spartans from ninth place to 20th heading into Friday). We played solid today and had some really good rounds out there. To watch Allyssa finish in the top 10 was a good feeling and it says a lot about how far she's come during her career."
Ferrell entered the day tied for third and only three shots off the pace. She tallied a 1-over 73 in the final round to tie for 10th. Doris Chen of USC carded a 3-under 67 to win medalist honors with a 6-under 274 (67-72-68-67).
Ferrell finishes the year with a team-best 74.14 scoring average, good for sixth lowest in a MSU single season. Her career average of 75.87 also closes out at sixth best in MSU history.
Senior Liz Nagel led the Spartans on Friday in her final collegiate round with a 1-over 71, including three birdies. The DeWitt, Michigan, native tied for 67th place with a 15-over 295 (76-70-78-71). She closes her career with a 75.65 scoring average, good for fourth all-time in the Spartan record book. In addition, her career-low 74.43 average her senior year ranks eighth lowest in a MSU season.
In her last round playing for the Green and White, senior Christine Meier closed out with a 3-over 73; she owned a 72-hole score of 303 (82-70-78-73). Meier finishes her career 10th in MSU history with a 76.59 scoring average.
"Anytime a senior graduates that's done so much for Michigan State and for our team, it's hard," Slobodnik-Stoll remarked. "Those three left their mark on the program, and we'll be forever grateful for what they did. We're very proud of them."
Freshman Kelly Grassel also posted a 1-over 71 for her lowest round of the tournament to finish in 90th place at 300 (78-77-74-71). Grassel's 75.40 scoring average this season is the lowest in MSU history for a freshman (previous record: Caroline Powers, 76.03, 2009).
Red-shirt freshman Gabby Yurik shot a 75 in her final round and collected a 312 (83-74-80-75) for the tournament.
"It's awesome that every round Kelly played she got better and better," said Slobodnik-Stoll. "It's really encouraging for us because Kelly, Gabby, Lindsey (McPherson) and Trisha (Witherby) are going to be the future of this team. They have big shoes to fill, but I know they're excited about the opportunity."
The 2013-14 Spartans added another chapter to the storied tradition of the Michigan State women's golf program. The team claimed its third Big Ten Championship in four years and 11th overall in program history, won the Mary Fossum Invitational, reached the NCAA Regionals for the 16th consecutive year and placed fifth, and advanced to the NCAA Championships for the third year in a row.
MSU has set a program record for lowest score at each of the last three NCAA Championships (1201 in 2012 in Franklin, Tennessee; 1191 in 2013 in Athens, Georgia; 1178 in 2014 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) . . . Ferrell's 72-hole score of 283 is the lowest score ever by a Spartan at nationals, beating the previous low by five strokes (Caroline Powers, 288, 2011 in College Station, Texas) . . . Ferrell's total of 283 edged the previous 72-hole low score by a Spartan by one stroke (Rachel Meikle, 284, 2007 Big Ten Championship) . . . Michigan State has played in 10 of the last 15 NCAA Championships . . . Ferrell joins Powers (sixth in 2011) and Meier (sixth in 2013) as the only Spartans to place in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships.