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Knights ready to tee it up at NCAA Championships

May 13, 2019 at 11:30 pm
2018-19 Carleton Women's Golf
2018-19 Carleton Women's Golf

HOUSTON, Texas – The Carleton College women’s golf team opens play at the NCAA Division III Championships on Tuesday, May 14 for a four-day, 72-hole tournament at Bay Oaks Golf Club. This is the Knights’ fourth trip to Nationals as a team over the last five seasons, with Carleton finishing among the top seven on the final leaderboard each time.

Carleton is paired with No. 3 New York University and No. 5 DePauw University for the opening round. Their tee times begin at 8:20 a.m. (CDT). Live scoring is available all week long.

The Knights are led by senior Ziyi Wang (Beijing City, China/Lighthouse Christian Academy), who was voted both the MIAC Player of the Year and the Senior of the Year. She became only the fourth woman in MIAC history to repeat as conference Player of the Year. Wang paced MIAC golfers with a 75.5 scoring average in 2018-19 and received All-America Honorable Mention for her play in both 2015-16 and 2017-18

Senior Ayumi Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/ʻIolani School) and junior Alyssa Akiyama (Terrace Park, Ohio/Seven Hills School) joined Wang on the 2018 All-Region squad. The former ranks second in the MIAC this year with a 76.4 scoring average, while the latter ranks fourth in the MIAC with a scoring average of 77.8 during the 2018-19 campaign. Akiyama was named to the WGCA All-America Second Team for 2016-17.

Sophomore Abby Euyang (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) is fifth among conference players with a 78.3 scoring average, while Kristin Miyagi (Fy./Honolulu, Hawaii/'Iolani School) captured Rookie-of-the-Year distinction and was voted to the all-conference squad after leading MIAC first-years with a 79.8 scoring average.

All five players in the Carleton lineup earned all-conference distinction for 2018-19. For Wang and Sakamoto, they joined the select group of four-time All-MIAC honorees. Akiyama captured her third all-conference award in as many years, Euyang took home her second All-MIAC Award, and Miyagi became the 10th player in program history to capture All-MIAC recognition as a first-year.

THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS BY THE NUMBERS

• 25 — Twenty-five teams and six individual players make up the field at this year’s tournament. Following the third round, the field will be cut for the final 18 holes to include only the top 15 teams and top six individuals not on one of those teams. This year’s field includes 131 players, with 54 of whom played at the NCAA Championships last spring.

• 6 — Carleton and defending champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps are among the half-dozen schools to return at least four players from last year’s NCAA Championships lineup. The returning Knights are: Sakamoto, Wang, Akiyama, and Euyang.

•  21 — Twenty-one conferences were granted automatic qualifiers to the NCAA Championships, while the remaining four teams were selected on an at-large basis. Carleton secured an AQ after winning the MIAC Championships in the fall, and doing so in record-breaking fashion as they smashed their own conference tournament 54-hole scoring record by 20 strokes. Due to the highly selective nature of the NCAA Golf Championships, the teams ranked No. 12-18 in the Golfstat Top 25 are sitting at home this week.

• 9-0 — Under the direction of first-year coach Molly Erickson—who was selected by her peers as the MIAC Coach of the Year—the Knights went 9-0 during the regular season in addition to their MIAC Championships crown.

• 305.5 — The Knights currently own a 305.5 team scoring average, which is on pace to set a new team record.

• 8 — Carleton enters the NCAA Championships ranked No. 1 but played head-to-head against only eight other teams in the field (rankings via Golfstat): No. 4 Grinnell College, No. 5 DePauw University, No. 9 Washington (Mo.) University, No. 19 Illinois Wesleyan, No. 29 UW-Whitewater, No. 32 Saint Mary's (Ind.) College, No. 37 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and No. 56 Central (Iowa) College.

CARLETON WOMEN’S GOLF AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS (Team entries)

2015 — Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort/El Campeón Club) — T-6th place
2017 — Houston, Texas (Bay Oaks Golf Club) — T-7th place
2018 — Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort/El Campeón Club) — 6th place

PREVIOUS NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS EXPERIENCE

Alyssa Akiyama
2017 — Houston, Texas (Bay Oaks Golf Club) — T-25th place (81-76-77-78=312, +24)
2018 — Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. (El Campeón Club) — T-52nd place (79-88-86-82=335, +43)

Abby Euyang
2018 — Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. (El Campeón Club) — T-45th place (84-85-83-80=332, +40)

Ayumi Sakamoto
2017 — Houston, Texas (Bay Oaks Golf Club) — 22nd place (71-80-80-78=309, +21)
2018 — Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. (El Campeón Club) — T-37th place (83-88-77-79=327, +35)

Ziyi Wang
2016 — Houston, Texas (Bay Oaks Golf Club) — T-21st place (79-78-76 = 233, +17)**
2017 — Houston, Texas (Bay Oaks Golf Club) — 18th place (72-81-75-78 = 306, +18)
2018 — Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. (El Campeón Club) — T-7th (79-82-74-79=314, +22)
**played as individual entrant / tournament shortened to 54 holes by weather