CARBONDALE -- Fresh off last week's conference championship, the Southern Illinois women's golf team was assigned on Wednesday to the CLE Elum (Washington) Regional of the 2019 NCAA Division I Championship as the No. 18 seed. The Salukis are one of 18 teams that will tee off at the Tumble Creek Golf Club hosted by the University of Washington from May 6-8.
"Coach Kaufman has worked with us all season to be as good as we can be and it's gotten us this far," said SIU graduate student Jackie Biggs. "I'm so grateful to be a part of this program and to be playing on this team."
Southern Illinois earned its first NCAA berth since 2007 after jumping out to an early lead at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship and completing a seven-shot victory over UNI. First-year head coach Danielle Kaufman was named the 2019 MVC Coach of the Year and junior Lili Klekner-Alt earned All-Conference.
"I never doubted this team," said Kaufman. "From day one we have been ready to learn and grow together. That's what separates good players from great players and why our team is in this position. It's because they listen and want to win."
The other teams joining the Salukis in Cle Elum include: USC, Arkansas, South Carolina, Northwestern, Washington, Miami (FL), Oregon, San Jose State, Oregon State, Old Dominion, Iowa State, San Diego State, UCF, Ohio State, Sacramento State, New Mexico State and Boston U.
"Every single one of my kids wanted to get better and wanted this," Kaufman said. "We've accomplished what we have because we all believed in each other."
Golf Channel will provide expanded coverage of the final day of the regional championships on May 8. Live scoring will be available at NCAA.com and Golfstat.com. Six teams and three individuals will advance to play in the NCAA Championship at The Blessings Golf Club hosted by the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from May 17-22.