Pioneers earn spot at Auburn Regional

The Denver Pioneers are headed back to the NCAA Regionals for the 18th straight year.
The Denver Pioneers are headed back to the NCAA Regionals for the 18th straight year.

Courtesy www.DenverPioneers.com

DENVER 
– The University of Denver women's golf team found out on Wednesday that it will head to the Auburn Regional in Opelika, Ala. The Pioneers received the No. 15 seed that was revealed on the NCAA Selection Show, which aired on the Golf Channel.
 
This marks the 18th straight year that DU has appeared in a regional. The Crimson and Gold earned an automatic bid after winning the Summit League Championship on Tuesday in Newton, Kan. at the Sand Creek Station Golf Club.
 
The Auburn Regional will be played at the Saugahatchee Country Club. Auburn will serve as the host institution.
 
"We have seen a lot of these teams in our schedule thus far this season," head coach Lindsay Kuhle said. "We had the 24th-ranked schedule in the country before regional play, which speaks volumes about our experience and level of competition we've had this season. We are well prepared to face any team in the nation having had duals with Arizona State, Georgia and UCLA and played many rounds the last two years with the defending NCAA Champions Arizona.
 
"We know what it takes and looks like to put together three solid rounds to advance to the National Championship and I truly believe that this team is up for the challenge. They're competitive, eager to play, and confident. We should definitely be considered a contender."
 
Duke received the No. 1 seed for the regional, followed by Vanderbilt, Florida State and the host Tigers.
 
Also joining the Crimson and Gold are Virginia, Furman, Clemson, Houston, Kennesaw State, Alabama, Tennessee, California, Maryland, East Carolina, South Alabama, Albany and Murray State.
 
The top six teams and three individuals will advance to the NCAA Championships.
 
"Seeing teams like Duke, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Auburn, Virginia, Furman, Houston, Kennesaw State, Alabama and Cal this season and last year at regionals should not be intimidating to us," Kuhle said. "We are more than prepared and equipped to compete against them. Being a young team of two juniors and two freshmen and one senior, I believe it's all about being comfortable and confident on the golf course and trusting in your teammates this time of year.
 
"To be honest, we are at the best and highest of those three characteristics as we have been all season right now and I'm excited to compete again."
 
The Pioneers will be powered by senior and captain Sophie Newlove and junior Mary Weinstein. Newlove is coming off a runner-up finish to her fellow teammate at the league championship and notched her fifth top-10 finish this season, tying a career high. The England native also recorded her first All-Summit League first-team selection this year. She was a second-team performer as a junior.
 
Weinstein has put up historic numbers this year as a junior. The former Regis standout set the program record back in the fall with an 8-under 64 at the Golfweek Conference Challenge. Weinstein also captured her first collegiate victory at the Summit League Championship on Tuesday, finishing with a 54-hole score of 217 (+1), tying the Summit League record.
 
The first-team, all-league selection also has seven top-10 finishes this year, the most by a pioneer player since the 2013-14 year.
 
Play for the NCAA Regional is set to begin on May 6.

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