Women's Golf Upsets Top-Seeded UCLA at Hooters Match Play Championship
Nov. 3, 2008
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - In one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship, eighth-seeded Michigan State defeated No. 1 seed and third-ranked UCLA in the first round of championship bracket play Monday afternoon. In the semifinals, MSU is currently tied with fifth-seeded Duke at two matches apiece; the fifth and deciding match is all square after 16 holes but was called due to darkness and will resume Tuesday morning.
The Spartans and Bruins each claimed two matches and tied another, but MSU moved on due to the tiebreaker; Michigan State's players were six holes ahead won they won their match, while the UCLA players who won their matches were only five holes ahead.
"This is a monumental moment in program history," said head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. "In all my years as a coach and a player here at Michigan State, this is one of the biggest accomplishments for the program. It feels great and our team is so excited.
"UCLA is loaded, but we proved today we can play with anyone. We have a great group of kids who believe in themselves and made it happen today. We encourage them to play in as many tournaments as possible in the summer, and they were definitely prepared and comfortable out there. These kids will remember this forever and the memories are priceless."
The Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship features 16 teams, all of which entered the tournament ranked among the top 50 in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. The teams were split into two brackets - championship and consolation - based on their finish in the 36-hole stroke-play competition held Sunday. The Spartans finished eighth, while the Bruins cruised to the top seed, finishing nine strokes better than second-place Virginia.
Three of UCLA's five players were ranked 31st or better nationally, but the Spartans held off the Bruins to advance. Junior Laura Kueny posted an impressive 4 and 3 victory over 11th-ranked Sydnee Michaels, and freshman Lindsey Solberg beat Maria Jose Uribe, 2 Up. Sophomore Aimee Neff battled Stephanie Kono, ranked 31st, to a tie. Sophomore Michelle Bowles lost a close contest to No. 15 Tiffany Joh, 2 and 1, while freshman Shannon Warner fell to Brianna Do, 3 and 2.
Kueny and Solberg were victorious once again vs. the Blue Devils. Kueny defeated No. 10 Mina Harigae, 2 and 1. Solberg continued her strong showing by beating Yu Young Lee, 3 and 2.
Neff fell to Amanda Blumenherst, 4 and 2, and Alison Whitaker topped Warner, 5 and 4.
In the all important fifth and deciding match, Bowles is all square after 16 holes with Kim Donovan.
The winner of Duke and Michigan State will face third-seeded Alabama in the final of the championship bracket. The tournament is being held at the Ginn Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Fla. Live stats are available at www.golfstat.com.
No. 8 Michigan State def. No. 1 UCLA, 2-2-1 (Tiebreak)
No. 5 Duke vs. No. 8 Michigan State (Incomplete)
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