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Maryland women’s golf set for first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Ludovica Farina Maryland women’s golf Photo by Maryland Athletics

For the first time since 2012, the Maryland women’s golf team is headed to the NCAA Women’s Golf Tournament after receiving a No. 13 seed in the Auburn region.

Play starts on Monday and continues through Wednesday, as the Terrapins will hope to stand out among an 18-team field and place in the top six, as those groups will advance to the finals. Six individual golfers were also named to each region, and the best three will get the chance to compete for a national title.

The starting lineup for the Terps will be comprised of sophomore Virunpat Olankitkunchai, sophomore Laura Van Respaille, junior Xiaolin Tian, senior Ludovica Farina and freshman Elena Verticchio. Olankitkunchai has been especially impressive this season, having been named to the All-Big Ten First Team and All-Big Ten Championship Team.

The group also hail from four different countries: Thailand (Olankitkunchai), France (Van Respaille), China (Tian) and Italy (Farina and Verticchio). That theme is consistent throughout the entire team, as only one of the eight members is from the United States. Last year, all seven golfers came from other countries.

In its last outing, Maryland finished in eighth place out of 14 Big Ten teams in the conference championships back in mid-April. That was preceded by a third-place finish out of 12 teams in the Lady Buckeye Invitational the week prior, which helped bolster the team’s resume. The best outing of the season came back in October, when the Terps were runners-up in the Cardinal Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, in a 14-team field.

A total of 72 programs received team bids—divided into the Auburn, Cle Elum, East Lansing and Norman regions—and 24 golfers received individual bids as well. Should the Terrapins advance, they would compete in the national championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from May 17-22.

In other news

For the seventh straight season, Maryland women’s lacrosse has been named the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The men’s team enters the NCAA Tournament field unseeded for the first time since 2012. Back-to-back losses to Johns Hopkins had the Terps’ tournament status in jeopardy, but they snuck in.

It was yet another disappointing weekend for Maryland baseball, which was swept by Michigan by a combined score of 33-12.

Maryland softball also faced the Wolverines, and the results were even worse. The Terps were swept 26-4 across a three-game series.

In its final regulars season meet, Maryland track & field had a spectacular showing heading into the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in Iowa City next week.

Add another national championship to the Maryland record books, as the soil judging team won its fifth straight title this weekend, narrowly edging out Virginia Tech.

Members of the Maryland women’s basketball team competed in the USA Basketball 3x3 Division in Las Vegas this weekend, beating Mississippi State and losing to Stanford in overtime.

Maryland football’s spring practice are over, but the Terps had a special off-the-field moment at the Best Buddies Friendship Walk on Saturday afternoon.