The Michigan State Spartans Women’s Golf team earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals by winning the Big Ten this season. MSU ended up selected for the Louisville regional at the University of Louisville Golf Club. There, the Spartans ended up tied for fourth, earning a trip to the 2021 NCAA Championships.
Next stop: Scottsdale, Arizona & the 2021 NCAA Championships!! pic.twitter.com/wyGJMU8MBn— Spartan Women's Golf (@msuwomensgolf) May 12, 2021
Florida State finished first, Texas and UCLA tied for second, and Michigan State tied for fourth with Auburn. South Carolina ended up beating out Arkansas for the final qualifying spot. The top six teams earn a trip to the NCAA Championships.
Yurika Tanida and Valery Plata led the Spartans at regionals, finishing in the top-12. Paz Marfa Sans finished tied for 27th, and Leila Raines tied for 51st with teammate Valentina Rossi.
Following the win, MSU Women’s Golf head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll was named to the 2020-21 Division I Jackie Steinmann WGCA National Coach of the Year watchlist.
At the NCAA Championships last weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Spartans failed to advance out of the third round, but still managed to place in the leaderboard in a tie for 16th place. The performance Sunday was unfortunate as Michigan State entered the final rounds tied for 12th place, comfortably within the top-15 spots required to advance.
The Spartans came out strong initially in the championship rounds. Following an opening round Friday that saw the team shoot a 13-over-par 301, the Spartans were in 14th place at the end of the day. Plata finished the day at an even-par 72, which was good for tied in fifth place.
Round two on Saturday went even better for Michigan State. The Spartans moved up to a tie for 12th place with UCLA following a team 6-over-par 294 performance. Plata again led the Spartans on the day with a second even-par 72 which left her tied for 11th place at an overall even-par 144. Stanford moved into the lead of the overall field Saturday, and Duke moved into second place.
Sunday ended with the Spartans sitting just one spot behind where they needed to be to advance to the fourth and final stroke rounds of the 2021 NCAA Championships. MSU shot a team 15-over-par 303, finishing the three rounds 34-over-par 898. UCLA edged the Spartans with a 31-over-par 895 performance. Paz Marfa Sans led MSU on Sunday with a 1-under-par 71 performance. Plata still finished the three rounds as the lead Spartan in the leaderboard rankings, tied for 50th place with an overall performance of 6-over-par 222.
Not the ending we wanted, but we’ll be back! pic.twitter.com/7Dl2PLCOzs— Spartan Women's Golf (@msuwomensgolf) May 24, 2021
The appearance in the 2021 NCAA Championships still marked Michigan State’s first trip to since 2017 and the 13th in school history.