Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's golf team had a strong start to the 2014 NCAA Division II East Regional Championships on Sunday (May 4) as the Bulldogs are currently tied for third place overall.
FSU carded a 319 team score over Sunday's first 18 holes of action in the three-round event and is tied with fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) counterpart Findlay for third place in the tournament being held at the Purgatory Golf Club in Indianapolis, Ind.
Rival Grand Valley State holds the first-day lead as the Lakers carded a 307 team score followed by host Indianapolis in second place with a 310 figure after the opening round. The 54-hole tournament continues on Monday (May 5) before wrapping up with the final 18 holes on Tuesday (May 6) in Indy.
Senior Ashley Swanson led the Bulldogs in round one with a five-over par 77 score. She's presently tied for fifth overall in the field with GVSU's Kelly Hartigan holding the overall individual lead after carding a two-under 70 score in Sunday's round.
Behind Swanson for the Bulldogs was sophomore Libby Berens, who's currently tied for 13th in the field on the strength of a 79 on Sunday. FSU's Elizabeth Bauernfeind is also among the top 20 performers on the leaderboard after shooting an 81 in the first round, which was good for a share of 20th place.
Senior Jacqueline Mulder carded an 82 in round one and is tied for 28th overall with fellow senior Emily Rohdy only a single stroke behind with an 83 and tied for 31st in the field.
Ferris State and Findlay are nine strokes ahead of the nearest competitor behind them in Ashland, which posted a 328 score to earn fifth place in the nine-team super regional field.
Each women's golf super regional at the Division II level consists of both team and individual competition conducted concurrently with nine teams and four individuals from non-qualifying teams at each site. The top three teams along with the top three individuals not affiliated with a team from each super regional, will advance to the national championships. The 2014 NCAA Division II Women's Golf Championships will be held May 14-17, at Rock Barn Golf & Spa in Conover, N.C.
Ferris State, which is making its 13th consecutive Division II Tournament appearance this spring, must finish in the top three overall following Tuesday's final round to advance to the national championships for the first time since 2009. FSU entered the event as the region's number three overall seed behind GVSU and Indy.
Round two tee times are set for Monday starting at 8:30 a.m. (ET) in Indianapolis.
Along with the Bulldog women's golf team, the Ferris State men's squad will also begin its 12th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance with opening-round action Monday in Eureka, Mo.