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No. 8 Pepperdine Travels to Columbus, Ohio for NCAA Championships

May 19, 2006

Malibu, Calif. -

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The Pepperdine women's golf team, ranked No. 8 nationally, will attempt to win its first national title when it travels to Columbus, Ohio, next week to compete in the 2006 NCAA Championships at the Scarlet Course. The 72-hole tournament opens on Tuesday, May 23 and runs through Friday, May 26 with 18 holes scheduled each day.

LIVESCORING: The NCAA Championships can be followed live on the Internet at www.golfstat.com.

THE COURSE: The NCAA Championships will be contested on the par-72, 6,203-yard Scarlet Course on the campus of Ohio State University.

THE FIELD: The 24-team field includes Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, California, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kent State, Louisiana State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Wake Forest and Washington.

Pepperdine qualified for its seventh NCAA Championships in eight years after finishing third at the NCAA Central Regional Championships at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas. The Waves carded rounds of 303-304-296 for a 54-hole total of 39-over par 903. USC captured the team title with a 19-over par 883 to finish two shots ahead of top-ranked and No. 1 seed Duke (885).

The Waves' third-place finish was the second-highest in school history. The program's best-ever finish in regional competition came in 2002 when Pepperdine tied for first at the West Regional Championships on the Stanford Golf Course.

Individually, sophomore Leanne Bowditch and junior Eileen Vargas were Pepperdine's top finishers, tying two other players for ninth place with 8-over par scores of 224. Vargas currently leads the Waves with a 73.03 stroke average and is No. 12 in the latest Golfstat rankings. Senior Carolina Llano is second on Pepperdine with a 74.21 stroke average.

SEASON REVIEW: Pepperdine has competed in 10 tournaments during the 2005-06 campaign and registered eight Top 5 finishes. The Waves opened the fall season with back-to-back victories at the Branch Law / Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in Sammamish, Washington. Pepperdine also captured the Santa Clara Colby Invitational in Carmel Valley, California, and the West Coast Conference (WCC) Championships in Copperopolis, California. Additionally, junior Eileen Vargas claimed individual medalist honors at the Branch Law / Dick McGuire Invitational and the Santa Clara Colby Invitational while freshman Jayvie Agojo took individual medalist honors at the WCC Championships.

SEASON HONORS: Jayvie Agojo was named the West Coast Conference (WCC) Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year while joining teammates Carolina, Eileen Vargas and sophomores Leanne Bowditch and Marina Choi as All-WCC selections. Agojo became the fifth straight Waves player to win WCC individual medalist honors. Head coach Laurie Gibbs was tabbed the conference's Coach of the Year for the seventh time in her career.

WAVES VERSUS NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS FIELD: Pepperdine has competed against 20 of the 23 teams in the NCAA Championships field and has a cumulative record of 41-22 (.650). The Waves have wins against 16 of the 20 teams and has seen everyone except Florida State, Louisiana State and Purdue.

PEPPERDINE AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: This year marks the seventh overall NCAA Championships appearance for Pepperdine, all of which have come in the last eight years. The Waves reached the NCAA Championships for the first time in 1999 and made five straight before having the streak snapped in 2004. In its first-ever appearance, Pepperdine placed fifth at the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Waves have finished no lower than 14th, have five Top 10 showings and finished second at the 2003 championships in West Lafayette, Indiana.

2005 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2005 NCAA Championships at the Sunriver Resort's Meadows Course in Sunriver, Oregon, marked the closest Pepperdine has ever come to winning a national championship. The Waves carded a 72-hole total of 1179 to finish fourth, nine strokes behind Duke, which won the tournament with a 1170 score. UCLA (1175) placed second while Auburn (1176) was third. Junior All-American Carolina Llano was the top finisher for Pepperdine, tying for sixth with a 6-over score of 290.

PLAYING THE BEST: As one of the top Division I women's golf programs in the country, Pepperdine continually plays one of the most challenging schedules in the nation. This year's schedule is ranked the sixth-strongest in the country. Pepperdine also has continued to perform well against the nation's best as it has a streak of 20 consecutive Top 10 finishes, including 18 Top 5 showings.

PEPPERDINE NO. 8 OVER LAST SIX YEARS: Pepperdine, which has advanced to the NCAA Championships in five of the past six years, is ranked No. 8 nationally according to Golfweek, which combined its Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings for the past six years. Duke, the defending national champion is No. 1 in the rankings. The entire Top 10 includes: 1) Duke 2) Arizona 3) Auburn 4) USC, 5) UCLA 6) Oklahoma State 7) Georgia 8) Pepperdine 9) Texas 10) Tennessee.

THE PROGRAM: The Pepperdine women's golf program is in its 21st season of intercollegiate play. Women's golf was added as an intercollegiate sport at Pepperdine prior to the start of the 1985-86 school year. The Waves burst on to the national scene during the 1998-99 campaign, advancing to the NCAA Championships for the first time where the team earned an impressive fifth place finish. Pepperdine kept the positive momentum going in 2000, finishing eighth at the NCAA Championships. Tamie Durdin earned All-American honors from the National Golf Coaches Association in 2000, becoming the first Pepperdine player to earn such distinction. Lindsey Wright was an honorable mention All-American pick. The Waves placed 14th at the NCAA Championships in 2001, and sophomores Katherine Hull and Lindsey Wright were both second team All-Americans. Pepperdine put together another solid season in 2002 tying for ninth place at the NCAA Championships. Hull and Wright were again tabbed All-Americans and Wright tied for second in the individual standings. The duo led Pepperdine to unprecedented heights in 2003, leading the Waves to a second place finish at the NCAA Championships. They were both tabbed All-Americans and Hull was chosen as the "National Golfer of the Year" by the NGCA. In 2005, Pepperdine finished fourth at the NCAA Championships and junior Carolina Llano and sophomore Eileen Vargas were selected team and honorable mention All-Americans, respectively. The Waves have been consistently ranked in the Top 20 nationally each of the last eight seasons. The West Coast Conference (WCC) began sponsoring a women's golf championship for the first time in 1997, and Pepperdine finished second at the inaugural event behind San Francisco. The Waves have won eight of the last nine league titles, including this season. Candida Kim was the first Pepperdine golfer to compete at the NCAA West Regional Championships, as she earned an at-large berth to the 1995 event. In 1998, Jenny Glasgow became just the second Pepperdine golfer to earn such distinction, competing in the NCAA West Regional Championships at the Stanford Golf Course.

LAURIE GIBBS: Laurie Gibbs, a former teaching professional at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles, is in her 13th season as Pepperdine's head women's golf coach. Gibbs played collegiate golf at Long Beach State, and previously worked for three years as a PGA teaching professional at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles. Gibbs has directed the Waves to six Top 15 finishes at the NCAA Championships in the last seven years, including a best-ever second place finish at the 2003 NCAA Championships. Pepperdine won three consecutive West Coast Conference championships from 1998-2000 and has captured titles in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Gibbs was tabbed the league's "Coach of the Year" in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006. Additionally, Gibbs was selected the 1999 Far West Region "Coach of the Year" by the National Golf Coaches Association and received "Co-Coach of the Year" honors by the organization in 2003. She has twice been selected the University's "Coach of the Year", garnering the award in 1998-99 and 2002-03. After leading the Waves to a fourth-place finish at the 2005 NCAA Championships, Gibbs was tabbed the "National Coach of the Year" by Golfweek.

ON THE WEB: For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics on the Internet, including results and a schedule of upcoming events, please bookmark the following address: http://www.PepperdineSports.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: For additional information on the women's golf program, or to arrange interviews with players and the coaching staff, please contact Al Barba at the Pepperdine Sports Information Office by calling (310) 506-4455.