GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Top-ranked Oklahoma City University will look for its sixth women's golf national title Tuesday at the NAIA Championships at Link Hills Country Club.
The Stars, ranked No. 1 in the NAIA, punched their ticket to the NAIA Championships with a seven-stroke victory in the Sooner Athletic Conference Championships on April 17 at Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City. The conference title was OCU's 10th in 11 years.
"I think it was good for us as a team to play well and going forward that win should help us," OCU coach Marty McCauley said. "It should let us know that we are good enough to go out and win a national championship. Our conference is very strong and very deep and I think that it was key for us to go out and perform well there and carry it over."
The Sooner Athletic Conference placed five teams in the NAIA Championship field. Joining OCU is No. 7 Lubbock Christian (Texas), No. 10 Oklahoma Christian, No. 16 Wayland Baptist (Texas) and No. 20 Southern Nazarene.
The Stars won three tournaments and posted two top-five finishes this season. OCU has captured NAIA titles in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
"I really expect us to go compete and have an opportunity to win in the final round," McCauley said. "I feel that overall for the season we have played consistently and I think that will be a key part to whatever team wins the national championship."
The Stars are led by Jessica Schiele, a junior from Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, England. Schiele, an all-SAC performer, won individual titles in the Lady Chap Fall Invitational, ORU shootout and OCU Stars Fall classic this season. The junior shot an average of 74.59 this season and posted a score of 72-72-144 to finish runner-up in the SAC Championships.
Mary Larsh joined Schiele on the all-SAC team with a 75-73-148 performance in the SAC Championships. The junior from Edmond, Okla., posted three top-10 finishes this season including a fourth-place finish at the SAC Championships, and owns an 80.86 stroke average.
OCU's other all-SAC performer is Taylor Howard, of Ada, Okla. The junior fired 76-74-150 to finish tied for sixth at the SAC Championships. Howard turned in three top-10 finishes on the season with an 80.68 stroke average.
Tanya Tibshraeny shot 82.81 in 22 rounds of play this season. The junior from Westhaven, Kirkwood, South Africa, finished in the top-15 twice this season.
Madison Haley rounds out the Stars' squad. The senior from El Reno, Okla., owns an 83.50 average in 18 rounds of action. Haley finished tied for 19th in the SAC Championships.
The Stars will tee off at 8:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday, and will be paired with No. 9 Shorter (Ga.) and 19th-ranked College of Idaho.
Live scoring for the tournament will be available here.