JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The ETSU women’s golf team has been to the NCAA tournament before, but Monday will mark the Buccaneers first appearance as Southern Conference Champions.
The Johnson City squad’s one stroke victory over Furman three weeks ago sealed the postseason fate for the Bucs, but now they hope to keep that momentum going in the NCAA regionals that start on Monday.
“They’ve embraced the pressure and the nerves and that’s something they’ve done very well,” ETSU head coach Stefanie Shelton said. “They have that intangible, I think it comes from the maturity of this team, we have a very senior heavy team.”
This roster features five seniors, including reigning SoCon Golfer of the Year Tereza Melecka. The Czech Republic native is just the second golfer in program history to capture the honor as she led the conference with a 73.13 stroke average.
“We wanted that for four years, so we’re very, very excited and happy,” Melecka said. “This school is not about only football and baseball and other sports, but it’s also about golf and we’re here and people don’t really know about us.”
Melecka has been to the NCAA tournament before, but this is the first trip to regionals for the whole ETSU team since 2014. This lack of experience doesn’t scare the Johnson City team.
“Obviously we’re going to have the nerves, but again, believing in themselves, believing each other, the depth we have in the program this year is something that we haven’t had in a long time, if ever,” Shelton said.