The Alabama State women’s golf team will play in its first ever NCAA Tournament May 5-7 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The 2011 SWAC Women’s Golf Champions learned their destination Monday night and will be one of the 24 teams in the East Regional hosted by the University of Washington. The LPGA International’s Legends Course (par 72, 6,271 yards) will challenge the teams in the three-day, 54-hole tournament.

Among the teams in the East Regional with the Lady Hornets are in-state schools Alabama, along with conference champions Auburn (SEC), Michigan State (Big Ten) and North Carolina (ACC).

“We’re excited about going to the NCAA Tournament,” Hornets’ golf coach Gary Grandison said. “We’re playing in one of the stronger regions. We’ll get the chance to play and compete against Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Michigan State, North Carolina, and even Yale from the Ivy League. To play on this stage is what we’ve been striving for. We are definitely excited to have the opportunity to represent Alabama State University in a positive light.”

Last Tuesday, the Lady Hornets won their first ever SWAC Title. Sunday, ASU won its first the National Women’s Collegiate Golf Classic, one of the most prestigious among HBCU schools.

Next Thursday, May 5, another milestone will occur – this time on the biggest stage, the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.

“God gets the glory for this, as I did not fathom being in this position,” Grandison said. “For it to happen, for us to achieve goals that many people did not think we were capable of years ago – to go from a team of beginning golfers to a championship team – definitely we know that it’s impossible for humans to make all this happen.”

While the team also prepares for final exams, the Lady Hornets will be in what Grandison calls “tournament mode.”

“For our team, that means preparing to have all your kinks figured out, to practice on specific shots in preparation for the course,” Grandison said. “We want to have all our I’s dotted and T’s crossed to be in the right frame of mind to compete at the optimum level.”

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