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Olympian roundtable: What’s pro life like for women in softball, volleyball and water polo?

Rachel Garcia Softball (left), Jordan Larson volleyball (center), Maggie Steffens water polo (right)
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The United States had unprecedented success in women’s team sports at the Tokyo Olympics. Athletes from Team USA won gold in basketball (both 3×3 and 5×5), volleyball, and water polo, plus silver in softball and bronze in soccer.

But back in the U.S., professional opportunities vary widely by sport. To get a sense of the current post-NCAA landscape in women’s softball, volleyball, and water polo, On Her Turf caught up with Olympic medalists Rachel Garcia (softball), Jordan Larson (volleyball), and Maggie Steffens (water polo). Garcia, Larson, and Steffens sat down for this zoom Q&A ahead of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Annual Salute earlier this month.

This Q&A has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

On Her Turf: To start, can all three of you describe what life has looked like since the Tokyo Olympics?

Maggie Steffens: Once I got home, it was definitely nice to just breathe a little and try to relax. It had been a very long five years, training for [the Olympics] – through the pandemic, with a the postponement and extra year of training.

[I’ve also been] reconnecting with family members and trying to see as many young kids in the sport as possible. I think a huge part of being an Olympian is sharing your story and [helping] young athletes so that they can see themselves filling your shoes – or even bigger shoes – moving forward.

Rachel Garcia: Since coming back, I’ve actually been going through some rehab on my knee. [Apart from that], I’ve been doing some [softball] clinics in my hometown, just trying to give back.

Jordan Larson: I’ve been on a wedding tour. All of my teammates decided to get married, including myself. I decided to plan a wedding for 10 days after the Olympics – not sure if that was a good idea or a bad idea, but it was a great time. And then I proceeded to go to four of my teammates’ weddings. So we’ve been spreading the gold medal through the receptions and having a good time.

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On Her Turf: Because of the one-year postponement, the 2024 Paris Olympics are now less than three years away. Maggie and Jordan, have you decided if you’re going to make a run for the next Olympics?

Maggie Steffens: To be quite frank, I’m still reflecting on the Tokyo Olympics and this Olympic journey – it was an extremely rewarding one, but also an exhausting one. The Olympics don’t come around very often so I’m trying to live in this moment.

I love water polo, I love the Olympic movement. I’m not gonna say exactly one way or the other right now, but I am definitely keeping the Paris door open.

Jordan Larson: I would say the exact same thing. I’m proud of what I’ve been able to do and what our team was able to do. I love being in that environment. I’m not technically closing the door, but my body is telling me a little bit of a [different story].

Maggie Steffens: One thing I’ll add… Rachel mentioned earlier that she’s going through rehab and we’re all listening to our bodies. When you play at this level, you’re just continually pushing your body past your limits, and you’re also pushing yourself mentally. So it’s kind of hard to think about three years from now when you’re working on also healing your mind from all of the work you put in.

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On Her Turf: Thanks for sharing that. Rachel, given that softball sadly won’t be included in the 2024 Paris Olympics, how does that impact your own career planning?

Rachel Garcia: I mean, it’s devastating. For softball to be in the Tokyo Olympics, that was huge for the sport. For it to be out for the next [Olympics], I think is very unfortunate. I think it breaks a lot of girls’ hearts. For the [Los Angeles] 2028 Games, there’s a potential of it being added back and that’s what all of us are hoping for. But similar to what Maggie and Jordan said, I’m just listening to my body. The 2028 Games are so far away. By that time, I’m gonna be 30 years old. So I just have to keep doing everything I can just to stay in shape and keep my body healthy.

On Her Turf: While the spotlight on women’s volleyball, softball, and water polo shines brightest during the Olympics, you’re all obviously playing your sports – day in and day out – even when you aren’t getting the same level of attention. Can you give an overview of what the current post-college professional landscape looks like in each of your sports?

Jordan Larson: For volleyball, we actually probably spend more time overseas than we do in the United States. Usually we’re with the U.S. national team from May until October. And then October from May is when we’re overseas. So there’s really no time off. [There’s also a new volleyball] league – run by Athletes Unlimited – that is giving people more time to stay within the States, which is great.

Rachel Garcia: For softball, the majority of the pro leagues play during the summer. Athletes Unlimited also added a softball league – the second season was this past summer. [Some players] also play in Japan, [which adds a few more months] to the season.

Maggie Steffens: For water polo, it’s pretty similar to volleyball. The national team trains together in the summer for the FINA international season. We also train together full-time in the year before the Olympics. But in terms of professional water polo world, there [is no league] in the United States. So post-college, we also spend a lot of time overseas from September to May. The main league is in Europe, and it’s similar to soccer’s Champions League, and then Australia has a professional league as well.

On Her Turf: For Jordan and Maggie, given that you play for U.S. national teams that just won Olympic gold, is it strange to have to travel abroad to play your sport and continue your career?

Maggie Steffens: This is actually my first Olympics that I’m not going back to college, so it’s going to be an interesting transition. [In terms of playing abroad], I will say that it’s nice to have something to look forward to after the Olympics. That doesn’t get talked about a lot, but there are definitely mental struggles after you’ve achieved your lifelong Olympic dream.

[Looking ahead], it’s really interesting to be going to play with people I played against in the [Olympic] final. I played for teams in Spain and Hungary before the Olympics – and those were the two other teams that won medals [in Tokyo] – so it was kind of cool to be on the Olympic podium and be hugging my “enemies.”

And now I’m going back to play side-by-side with them. I think that just shows the bigger perspective that sport can bring to this world, especially for women: to be competitors and be supporters at the same time.

Jordan Larson: I think Maggie said it quite well. For me, the older I’ve gotten, the harder it’s been [to go abroad]. I think that’s why I’m starting to take shorter contracts. Our professional teams are hiring us, right? I try to make sure I’m giving them the same attention [as the U.S. national team] and I found that I’ve needed to cut down on time overseas for that reason, as well as to spend more time with family.

On Her Turf: Can you speak to the financial side of all of this? Are players in your sport able to make a living wage, or do they need to take second jobs to make ends meet?

Rachel Garcia: In the sport of softball, it’s tough. I feel like a lot of girls struggle post-season to figure out how they’re going to support themselves financially before the next season starts. A lot of girls put on clinics, take on coaching jobs, you name it. They’re just trying to pick up other jobs in order to be financially stable.

Jordan Larson: In volleyball, I feel like we’re lucky in that we’re actually able to make a pretty decent living by playing overseas. We’re also very lucky that our national team compensates us. I know a lot of other countries don’t necessarily have that [funding]. So between that compensation and playing overseas, we’re able to solely focus on our craft.

Maggie Steffens: For water polo, there’s definitely a range. You definitely can make good money abroad – if you’re willing to ask for it and if you’ve been able to prove [yourself] in that country.

In a way, you’re the one setting your own salary, and it’s really difficult to ask for money when you don’t know what the norm is.

I’ve been communicating with a lot of athletes to try [establish a standard] so that when girls come in, there is a bit more of a general consensus. So if you played college water polo, this is the minimum you should be making. Or if you’ve been to an Olympic Games, this is the minimum you should be asking for. I should probably also talk to volleyball and some of the other sports that have been able to figure out that financial standard.

We also receive a stipend from the USOPC and USA Water Polo, as well. So that’s liveable and it helps. But does that mean we can make water polo our full-time job? We can for the [pre-Olympic] year. Other than that, we’re usually all looking for second jobs – whether it’s coaching, teaching, working for a company, creating your own company – we’re definitely looking for ways to [support ourselves] financially.

On Her Turf: Looking ahead to the future, is there any one issue or topic that you think is most important to creating a more sustainable future for women in your sport?

Maggie Steffens: Obviously, if we could get more money in women’s sports, that would be amazing. But it’s going to take time.

This is probably because I play a “non-TV” sport, but I think exposure is also really important for women’s sports moving forward.

I grew up watching a lot of soccer games because I could drive an hour and go see a soccer game. Or I would go to a baseball game because the Giants played 40 minutes from my house. That exposure is exciting. It makes you want to be that type of athlete, right?

So how can we create more exposure for women’s sports… especially because sports like ours aren’t on TV all the time. You’re not turning on the TV and flipping through water polo, volleyball, and softball.

So [we need to] change that narrative and provide people with more exposure, whether that’s through live events, tours, or getting more of these sports on TV.

Jordan Larson: I agree with that. I’m from Nebraska, where college volleyball is very popular. There’s viewership, a fanbase… It’s on TV consistently and it’s crazy to me that [there’s all that support] and then it just drops off [after college].

I know Athletes Unlimited is trying to gain that exposure [at the professional level] and I’m so appreciative of that. But it’s tough. It’s an uphill battle, for sure.

Rachel Garcia: I think Maggie said it best. These sports need more exposure. You look at college softball, the viewers keep going up, higher and higher every year for the Women’s College World Series.

But then when I go to watch Athletes Unlimited on TV, it gets cut off because baseball is starting. So I feel like the exposure part is what we need the most.

On Her Turf: How much of this is wrapped up in gender, and how much of it is sport-specific? For example, Maggie, you touched on the fact that water polo is a ‘non-TV sport,’ but that’s also true for the men’s water polo, at least in the United States.

Maggie Steffens: This one is hard, with water polo itself being a smaller sport and struggling to get to the next level. There’s definitely a gender piece to it, but also some of it is just knowledge of the sport itself.

On the gender side… our women’s national team is one of the winningest teams of history, not just in water polo, but in all sports, men and women. But when we have a game at home, we don’t get any more fans than the men.

I think that shows that, unfortunately, while success is sometimes paired with [an increase in] viewers or being able to attract more people to the sport, [it’s more complicated than that].

For me, it’s been a frustrating ride. It’s like, what else can we do? We’ve won three gold medals in a row, our alumni have won medals at every single Olympics… We keep breaking these barriers and proving ourselves… and it just continues to stay in the same place.

And then when you go abroad… if you play water polo in Eastern Europe and you’re a man, you’re the man. Everyone watches the game, everyone knows the sport. It’s like seeing a basketball player on the streets here in the United States.

[But while] water polo is one of the most popular sports in Eastern Europe for men, there are no women’s teams in Eastern Europe other than Hungary. It kind of just makes you question: how can [this country] be the best in the world for men and it doesn’t even have a team for women?

On Her Turf: Before we conclude, anything else anyone wants to add?

Jordan Larson: Something that comes to mind for me, and I don’t think ‘tradition’ is [the right word], but I think about Sunday football and guys just sit on the couch all day. It’s like, ‘This is what we do on Sundays.’

And there’s nothing that has allowed women’s sports to have that space, that tradition. Like, this is our tradition on Monday nights. And that comes with exposure. It all comes back to that.

Maggie Steffens: We should start that. Let’s pick a day and just do it.

Jordan Larson: Instead of Bachelor Mondays, it could be Water Polo Wednesdays.

Maggie Steffens: 100%.

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: The top storylines in women’s sports ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC

Sloane Stephens gets candid about turning 30, favorite self-care practices and freezing her eggs ahead of 12th French Open

Sloane Stephens of the US hits a return during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open.
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Sloane Stephens calls the French Open – the second Grand Slam of the tennis season – one of her favorite events of the year, and it’s not hard to understand why: The 30-year-old Stephens owns 32 victories on the “terre battue” in Paris, where she finished runner-up in 2018. The current world No. 35 looks to increase that number when she faces off against No. 16 Karolina Pliskova in first-round action, which begins Sunday.

Roland-Garros is Stephens’ most successful major in terms of match wins at 32-11. Her record at the U.S. Open, where she won the title in 2017, currently stands at 24-10, while she’s 14-11 at Wimbledon. She stands 12-11 at the Australian Open, where she fell in the first round earlier this year to Russia’s Anastasia Potapova.

The Florida native arrives in Paris with 11 events in 2023 under her belt, including her first WTA 125 title at the L’Open 35 de Saint Malo earlier in May. Stephens entered the tournament last-minute following a first-round loss at the Madrid Open, but she rebounded by dropping just one set in four matches en route to the clay-court final, which she won in straight sets over Greet Minnen on May 7.

On Her Turf sat down with Stephens ahead of the 2023 French Open to talk about a wide range of topics including Rolland-Garros, turning 30, mental health advocacy, her favorite self-care practices, freezing her eggs and more.

You can watch the 2023 French Open on NBC, the Tennis Channel and Peacock. Click here for the full schedule.

RELATED: 2023 French Open — Dates, schedule, how to watch on NBC and Peacock

This Q+A has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

On Her Turf: Let’s start with some general takeaways… What are your thoughts on your season so far?

Sloane Stephens: Definitely started off slow, but we’ve been here before, so not too worried. …I was able to go play in St. Malo, which was great, because I needed to get a bunch of matches, and I was able to pick up a title there, which was really nice. Clay-court season is my favorite season, so I’m really happy to be able to play a lot of matches at the beginning (of the season). … It’s been a tough start this season. I haven’t done as well as I would have liked to, but again, that’s just tennis. And I think now I’ve kind of picked up some momentum. And yeah, playing in my favorite season of the year, the clay-court season is always nice. And being able to win matches and collect a lot of points is always good. So just been trying to keep the momentum going from here.

OHT: Regarding what you just said – “It’s just tennis” – Could you talk a little more about your perspective, dealing with that up-and-down start to a season? Knowing it’s a long season, how do you keep yourself from judging your whole year based on how it started?

Stephens: I think having perspective instead of over-analyzing. Only one person can win every week, right? … It’s all about finding that balance: It’s not getting overly happy and joyous when you’re winning and not getting so depressed that you want to quit tennis when it’s not going well. … And part of it is managing the workload and managing the travel and the logistics. You know, you don’t work a nine-to-five (job), you don’t go into work every day. And it’s the same thing for everyone. Like everyone’s routines are messed up, everyone’s schedule is different. Everyone’s losing their bags, everyone’s flights are super expensive. There’s all of these things that go into it that you really can’t get so upset about, because it’s happening to everyone. Everyone’s managing it, and whoever is managing the very best is probably the No. 1 player in the world. And there can be someone who’s managing really great and they’re No. 50 in the world. So it’s all about perspective.

OHT: Speaking of managing stress, can you talk about how wearing fitness technology (Stephens has been a brand ambassador for WHOOP since 2021) has helped you, and how do you incorporate it into your routine?

Stephens: I think for myself, as a professional athlete, it really helps you gauge where your body is in its recovery and how it’s recovering. WHOOP actually gives you the data … and I think that’s where the stress monitor comes in. Because like I said, like, you can already see like if your body’s recovering or not recovering, and then on top of it, how much stress are you putting on your body with a 10-percent recovery day? What does that look like? Are you gonna get injured? Are you gonna get sick? Are you going to be a couch potato? For myself, I know if I have two days that are in the red and I’m going really hard, I’m gonna have three days where I’m like, “Don’t call me; I’m not going to be able to do anything.” And before, I never really knew why that was happening, so I’m able to just be way more alert and attentive to like what my body needs, especially now that I’ve gotten older. I wish I had this when I was 21, because then I’d be the hero of self-care and recovery and HRV (heart rate variability) and monitoring — all of these things. Whereas now I’m old, and it really does make a difference. I really actually need to be paying attention to these things.

OHT: Speaking of self-care… what are some of your current self-care practices and how did it feel to hit the milestone of turning 30 this year (which by the way is not old!)?

Stephens: It’s been totally fine. I don’t feel any different at all, really, which is good. I think in terms of “old,” I’m definitely not old, but in tennis terms I am. There are girls on tour who are 17 and 16, and I don’t even remember what it was like when I was 16 playing on the tour — it was just so long ago. …My self-care journey has changed as I’ve gotten older, as I’ve experienced more things, as I’ve traveled the world. When I get to a new city and I’m needing to relax, I’ll try to find where can I get a facial? Where can I get my nails done? I like to do things alone — I don’t know why, I think it’s just part of being a tennis player. I’m used to having to do things alone. So for me, I can take my headphones and my show and go get my nails done, go have lunch by myself, all of those things. To me, that’s very relaxing, and I love it. …But being on the road — so much has really changed how I view self-care. I’ve definitely made it my mission to be more active when I’m on the road, to implement those things I love throughout my day and then be more active in terms of finding places to get facials or get my hair done and just kind of going for it.

OHT: I want to ask about your mom: She was a standout collegiate athlete (Sybil Smith was an All-American swimmer at Boston University) and a Harvard-educated psychologist. How has she informed your approach to self-care and mental health as a professional athlete?

Stephens: My mom, she’s so freakin’ cool. She’s so awesome. We actually do a lot of (self-care) stuff together. We really look forward to like doing those things and having self-care days. …But I think she also knows how important it is to have that time to take care of yourself and have that time alone, too, to recharge and regroup. She’s encouraged me both ways, just because she knows how helpful it can be.

OHT: You mentioned that you like doing things alone when you’re on the road, but I read in a recent article where you note that being a professional tennis player can be very lonely and can take a toll on your mental health, which is a topic you regularly address. Why is it important to you address mental health awareness and where does that comfort level talking about it come from?

Stephens: I would definitely say my mom. I’ve obviously been in therapy pretty much in my whole life, so I’m very open with that. And I think being a tennis player, traveling the world, it’s a very unique experience. I travel with a coach, a physio, sometimes a friend, so it’s like I’m never truly alone. …But during COVID, we weren’t allowed to leave our rooms for probably a better part of a year and a half, and I think that’s when the loneliness came in. All through COVID I was seeing a therapist and post COVID, still continuing to see my therapist, and really just finding the balance in my life. That makes the most sense for me.

OHT: It also appears that you have a good relationship with your followers on social media. In particular, it’s been really interesting to follow your journey through freezing your eggs and talking about your reproductive health. Why has that been important for you to engage in that conversation publicly?

Stephens: I’ve always been scared of childbirth, and since I was like 18, I’ve thought I’m definitely having a surrogate, like, this is what I’m putting my mind to, I’m going to freeze my eggs. And now, as I’ve gotten older and have read more about it, and really educated myself about the maternal mortality rate for black women – it’s a very scary thing. For me, egg freezing is something that I’ve always wanted to do, I’ve always been very interested in it, and now I get to share (what I’ve learned). There are so many girls on the tour who are interested. But for a female tennis player, the process takes like three weeks, which is a bit long. You know, men are free to do whatever they want, whenever they want. They don’t have to stop working. Their wives are at home, they’re having babies, and a lot of them now – some younger than me — bring their kids to the tournaments. And I’m like, “I’m 30, I have no kids.” And I totally envisioned having a baby at 27 or 28 and living a normal life. But for a professional tennis player, it’s not ideal. It’s just not possible. We do have a lot of moms on tour, which is the best. It’s just very complicated. The reproductive system is a very complicated thing … I’m on the player council, so I’m very invested in the girls on tour and their health and how they take care of themselves, and this was just something that fits into that — being able to freeze your eggs. Like Michelle Obama said the recently, “You can have it all, just not at the same time.”

OHT: Looking ahead to the 50th anniversary of the WTA this year, what are your thoughts as the organization celebrates this milestone?

Stephens: The WTA has come a long way, and it’s something I’ve been really proud to be a part of. I think obviously when Billie (Jean King) started the tour 50 years ago, I’m sure she didn’t think it would look like what it looks like now. So just being able to be a part of something like that, and I think we all want to leave the tour and tennis better than we found it. There are more initiatives, the pension program is better, there’s free egg freezing, and all of the other things that we want on our tour – those things are possible and we’re able to make that happen.

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2023 NCAA DI women’s golf championships: Wake Forest captures team title, Stanford’s Rose Zhang wins individual crown


Update: No. 3 Wake Forest captured its first-ever NCAA DI women’s golf national title on Wednesday, defeating No. 5 Southern California 3-1-0. Demon Deacons players Emilia Migliaccio, Rachel Kuehn and Lauren Walsh won their respective matches to clinch the 2023 title. Of note, Walsh took down USC’s Brianna Navarossa in the day’s anchor match — a day after Navarrossa beat Stanford’s Rose Zhang, who won the individual title on Monday. Wake Forest finished third in the stroke play portion of the competition to advance to match play. The Demon Deacons beat No. 6 Florida State in the quarterfinals before downing No. 7 Texas A&M to reach the national championship match, where they beat USC.

The 30-team field is set for the 2023 NCAA DI women’s golf championships, set for May 19-24 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, with defending champion Stanford leading the charge among the six regional qualifying tournaments that wrapped on Wednesday. The Cardinal recorded both the best team and individual scores of the week, posting a combined for 50-under par to win the Pullman (Washington) regional by 17 shots.

Stanford sophomore Rose Zhang, who won the 2022 individual NCAA title, led the Cardinal with a score of 19-under over three rounds, highlighted by an 8-under 64 in her first round on Monday. Zhang set a new NCAA record for the low 54-hole score at Regionals by three shots at Palouse Ridge Golf Club, while her team obliterated the NCAA 54-hole team scoring mark by 17 strokes. The Pullman Regional produced the five lowest team scores of the week, as four teams (Stanford, Clemson, Southern California, Baylor) shot better than 20-under.

Other notable performances came from Arizona, which rallied on Wednesday to win the Raleigh Regional, while the Georgia defended its home course in the Athens Regional, holding off a late push from South Carolina. Also advancing out of Athens was No. 11 seed Augusta, who will make its first appearance at nationals in program history. In the Westfield Regional, Mississippi State won its first-ever regional tournament, while Michigan State won the Palm Beach Regional to also mark a program first. Pepperdine and SMU finished tied atop the leaderboard in the San Antonio Regional.

This year marks the first time in women’s tournament history that that five teams will advance from each regional rather than four (increasing the field from 24 to 30 teams). In January, the NCAA gained approval to increase the number of schools moving on to nationals, aligning it with the number of teams in the men’s championships.

The Stanford Cardinal are the defending champions, beating the Oregon Ducks in the 2022 finals at Grayhawk GC. Stanford sophomore Rose Zhang will aim to defend her individual title as well, and looks to keep the momentum rolling this spring after wins at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Pac-12 Championships, where she claimed her 10th career collegiate title to set a new Cardinal record.

Read on as On Her Turf breaks down all you need to know about this year’s championships, and be sure to check back here for updates and results as the tournament progresses.

Matchups and results

On Monday, Stanford sophomore Rose Zhang became the first women’s player to ever win consecutive NCAA individual titles on Monday at Grayhawk Golf Club. Zhang finished at 10-under 278 after 54 holes, beating USC’s Catherine Park and San Jose State’s Lucia Lopez-Ortega by one stroke. Complete scoring details can be found here.

Quarterfinals matchups and results:

  • Match 1: No. 7 Texas A&M defeats No. 2 Texas, 3-1
  • Match 2: No. 3 Wake Forest defeats No. 6 Florida State, 3-1
  • Match 3: No. 1 Stanford defeats No. 8 Pepperdine, 3-1
  • Match 4: No. 5 Southern California defeats No. 4 South Carolina, 3-1

Semifinal matchups and results:

  • Match 5: No. 3 Wake Forest defeats No. 7 Texas A&M, 3-0-0
  • Match 6: No. 5 Southern California defeats No. 1 Stanford, 3-1-0

Championship matchup and results:

  • Match 7: No. 3 Wake Forest defeats No. 5 Southern California, 3-1-0

How to watch the 2023 NCAA DI women’s golf championships

You can watch the 2023 NCAA DI women’s golf championships on Golf Channel, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Check out the complete TV and streaming schedule:

  • Monday, May 22: 5 p.m. ET (final round, individual stroke play), Golf Channel and Peacock
  • Tuesday, May 23: Noon ET (quarterfinals, team matches) and 5 p.m. ET (semifinals, team matches), Golf Channel and Peacock
  • Wednesday, May 24: 5 p.m. ET (national championship team match), Golf Channel and Peacock

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Who’s playing in the 2023 NCAA DI women’s golf championships?

UPDATE: Stanford, Texas, Wake Forest, South Carolina, Southern California, Florida State, Texas A&M and Pepperdine advanced to match play.


Thirty teams — five from each of the six regions — qualified for the finals, May 19-24 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Also qualifying were six individuals (one from each regional site) whose teams did not advance. They are:

Athens Regional:   

  • 1. Georgia
  • 2. South Carolina
  • 3. San Jose State
  • 4. Ole Miss
  • 5. Augusta
  • Individual: Leon Takagi – Kent State

Palm Beach Gardens Regional:   

  • 1. Michigan State
  • 2. Duke
  • T-3. Texas
  • T-3. Northwestern
  • 5. LSU
  • Individual: Sara Byrne – Miami (FL)

Pullman Regional: 

  • 1. Stanford
  • 2. Clemson
  • 3. Southern California
  • 4. Baylor
  • 5. Texas Tech
  • Individual: Tiffany Le – UC Riverside

Raleigh Regional:

  • 1. Arizona
  • 2. NC State
  • 3. Wake Forest
  • 4. TCU
  • 5. Florida State
  • Individual: Dorota Zalewska – Chattanooga

San Antonio Regional Site: 

  • T-1. Pepperdine
  • T-1. SMU
  • T-3. Oklahoma State
  • T-3. Texas A&M
  • 5. New Mexico
  • Individual: Camryn Carreon – UTSA

Westfield Regional:    

  • 1. Mississippi State
  • 2. Oregon State
  • 3. Vanderbilt
  • 4. Virginia
  • 5. Tulsa
  • Individual: Isabella McCauley – Minnesota

Past NCAA DI women’s golf champions 

The NCAA DI women’s golf championships went to a combination stroke-play and match-play format in 2015. The previous format was strictly stroke play (72 holes) from the championships’ inception in 1982 through 2014.

2022 Stanford Anne Walker 3-2 Oregon Rose Zhang (Stanford, 282) Grayhawk Golf Club, Scottsdale, AZ
2021 Ole Miss Kory Henkes 4-1 Oklahoma State Rachel Heck (Stanford, 280) Grayhawk Golf Club, Scottsdale, AZ
2020 n/a (pandemic) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
2019 Duke Dan Brooks 3-2 Wake Forest Maria Fassi (Arkansas, 211*) Blessings Golf Club, Fayetteville, AR
2018 Arizona Laura Ianello 3-2 Alabama Jennifer Kupcho (Wake Forest, 280) Karsten Creek Golf Club, Stillwater, OK
2017 Arizona State Missy Farr-Kaye 3-1-1 Northwestern Monica Vaughn (Arizona State, 275) Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, IL
2016 Washington Mary Lou Mulflur 3-2 Stanford Virginia Elena Carta (Duke, 272) Eugene Country Club, Eugene, OR
2015 Stanford Anne Walker 3-2 Baylor Emma Talley (Alabama, 285) The Concession Golf Club, Bradenton, FL

*Stroke play shortened to three rounds.

What format is used for the 2023 NCAA DI women’s golf championships?

Thirty teams and six individuals will make up the field for the 2023 NCAA DI women’s golf championships, set for May 19-24 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, and hosted by Arizona State and The Thunderbirds. All teams and individual competitors will compete in 54 holes of stroke play (May 19-21), with the top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team moving on for one additional day of stroke play (May 22), which will determine the eight teams for the match-play competition as well as the individual champion.

Any ties after 54 holes – either to determine the teams or individuals who’ll advance to the final round of stroke-play – will be broken by sudden-death playoff. Additionally, ties to determine the eight teams advancing to match play — as well as the individual champion — also will be broken by sudden-death playoff.

Following the conclusion of 72 holes of stroke play, the top eight teams will advance to single-elimination match play, with seeds determined by the team results. A total of five points will be available in each round, with the first team to three points winning. Once a team has won three individual matches, any remaining individual matches will be halted at that point, and the score recorded as it currently stood. Quarterfinals and semifinals are set for May 23, with the finals on May 24.

Regionals rewind: 72 teams take aim at qualifying for nationals

Regional action took place May 8-10 at six regional sites, featuring 72 teams and 36 individuals (396 competitors total). Twenty-seven conferences received automatic bids to regional championships, with each regional site hosting 12 teams and six individuals. The top five teams and the low individual not on an advancing team from each regional site moved on to the national championships, set for May 19-24 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Committee announced the teams and individuals for each of six regional tournaments on April 26, with Stanford, Wake Forest, LSU, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Texas A&M all earning No. 1 seeds. The SEC led the way with 13 conference programs securing spots in the regional fields (including four No. 1 seeds), followed by the Big Ten and Pac-12 with eight each, and the ACC and Big 12 with seven.

Each regional hosted 12 teams and six individuals competing in a 54-hole tournament, with the top five teams — along with the low individual not on an advancing team — from each site qualifying for nationals at Grayhawk. The six regional sites, including selected teams and individuals, were as follows (includes seeding; conference automatic qualifiers indicated in parentheses):


Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Washington; hosted by Washington State


  • 1. Stanford
  • 2. Baylor
  • 3. Southern California (Pac-12 Conference)
  • 4. Clemson (Atlantic Coast Conference)
  • 5. Kentucky
  • 6. Texas Tech
  • 7. Houston
  • 8. North Carolina
  • 9. UNLV
  • 10. Sacramento State (Big Sky Conference)
  • 11. Cal Poly (Big West Conference)
  • 12. Green Bay (Horizon League)


  • Camille Boyd, Washington
  • Tiffany Le, UC Riverside
  • Harriet Lynch, Fresno State
  • Darcy Habgood, Washington State
  • Stefanie Deng, Washington
  • Cassie Kim, Gonzaga


The Club at Chatham Hills Golf Course in Westfield, Indiana; hosted by Indiana and Indiana Sports Corp


  • 1. Mississippi State
  • 2. Oregon
  • 3. Vanderbilt
  • 4. Iowa State
  • 5. Virginia
  • 6. Tulsa
  • 7. Tennessee
  • 8. Michigan
  • 9. Oregon State
  • 10. Xavier (Big East Conference)
  • 11. Lipscomb (ASUN Conference)
  • 12. Morehead State (Ohio Valley Conference)


  • Isabella McCauley, Minnesota
  • Carmen Griffiths, Louisville
  • Luisamariana Mesones, Minnesota
  • Sofia Torres, Colorado State
  • Lauren Beaudreau, Notre Dame
  • Sabrina Coffman, Cleveland State (Horizon League)


Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh, North Carolina; hosted by NC State


  • 1. Wake Forest
  • 2. Arizona State
  • 3. Florida State
  • 4. Florida
  • 5. Arizona
  • 6. North Texas (Conference USA)
  • 7. TCU
  • 8. NC State
  • 9. Purdue
  • 10. Nebraska
  • 11. Campbell (Big South Conference)
  • 12. Richmond (Patriot League)


  • Dorota Zalewska, Chattanooga
  • Kendall Turner, James Madison
  • Mallory Fobes, UNCW
  • Morgan Ketchum, Virginia Tech
  • Becca DiNunzio, Virginia Tech
  • Sarah Kahn, High Point (Big South Conference)


University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Georgia; hosted by Georgia


  • 1. South Carolina
  • 2. San Jose State
  • 3. Ole Miss
  • 4. Ohio State
  • 5. Georgia
  • 6. Maryland
  • 7. Kent State (Mid-American Conference)
  • 8. Charleston (Colonial Athletic Association)
  • 9. Kansas
  • 10. Furman (Southern Conference)
  • 11. Augusta (Southland Conference)
  • 12. Sacred Heart (Northeast Conference)


  • Carla Bernat, Tulane
  • Mathilde Delavallade, Penn State
  • Mikhaela Fortuna, Oklahoma
  • Catie Craig, Western Kentucky (Conference USA)
  • Christy Chen, Boston U (Patriot League)
  • Isabella Gomez, Harvard (The Ivy League)


TPC San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas; hosted by UTSA and San Antonio Sports


  • 1. Texas A&M (Southeastern Conference)
  • 2. Auburn
  • 3. Pepperdine
  • 4. Oklahoma State (Big 12 Conference)
  • 5. SMU (American Athletic Conference)
  • 6. UCLA
  • 7. New Mexico (Mountain West Conference)
  • 8. Denver (The Summit League)
  • 9. Illinois (Big Ten Conference)
  • 10. Sam Houston (Western Athletic Conference)
  • 11. ULM (Sun Belt Conference)
  • 12. Missouri State (Missouri Valley Conference)


  • Victoria Gailey, Nevada
  • Allysha Mae Mateo, BYU
  • Haley Vargas, Kansas State
  • Camryn Carreon, UTSA
  • Jasmine Leovao, Long Beach State (Big West Conference)
  • Alex Giles, Incarnate Word (Southland Conference)


PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; hosted by Florida Atlantic and Palm Beach County Sports Commission


  • 1. LSU
  • 2. Texas
  • 3. Northwestern
  • 4. UCF
  • 5. Duke
  • 6. Michigan State
  • 7. California
  • 8. Arkansas
  • 9. Alabama
  • 10. South Florida
  • 11. Penn (The Ivy League)
  • 12. Quinnipiac (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)


  • Christin Eisenbeiss, North Florida
  • Sara Byrne, Miami (FL)
  • Yanjun Liu, Princeton
  • Karissa Kilby, FIU
  • Leah Onosato, Old Dominion (Sun Belt Conference)
  • Katherine Lemke, Creighton (Big East Conference)

Last year at Grayhawk Golf Club

The No. 1-ranked Stanford Cardinal captured their second national title — and first since 2015 — with a 3-2 win over the No. 2 Oregon Ducks at Grayhawk Golf Club, marking the first time that a No. 1 seed won the title since the tournament switched to match play in 2015. The Cardinal also became the first team since Arizona State in 2017 to win both the team and individual championship in the same year.

In the championship matches, Stanford’s Brooke Seay and Aline Krauter each won to give the Cardinal a 2-0 edge, but Oregon’s Briana Chacon and Tze-Han Lin tied it up with wins over Sadie Englemann and Rachel Heck, respectively. Stanford’s hopes rested on Rose Zhang, who closed out Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen on the 17th hole, 3 and 1, and secured Stanford’s team title.

Earlier in the week, Zhang also secured the individual NCAA title, finishing four rounds of stroke play at 6-under 282. Despite a 3-over 75 in the final round, Zhang won by three shots over SJSU’s Natasha Adrea Oon, who finished solo second, followed by Texas A&M’s Jennie Park and LSU’s Ingrid Lindblad, who tied for third. Zhang became the second consecutive Cardinal to win the title following teammate Heck’s win in 2021. Heck and Zhang are the only two Stanford women to win the individual national championship, and each did so as freshmen.

More about Grayhawk Golf Club’s Raptor Course

This year marks the third straight year that the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club will host the women’s NCAA golf championships. Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, less that 20 miles from the Arizona State campus, Grayhawk was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1995. The Raptor Course will play as a par 72 (36-36), stretching 6,384 yards, and is known for its generous fairways, large and undulated greens, and deep bunkers, which are especially noteworthy considering Fazio sculpted these features from what started as a flat piece of desert land.

Grayhawk GC also will host the men’s NCAA tournament May 26-31, but both tournaments move to the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa’s Champions Course in Carlsbad, California, for 2024. This year marks the eighth consecutive edition of the NCAA Division I Golf Championships that one course will host both the women’s and men’s championships in the same year in consecutive weeks.

The NBC Sports golf research team contributed to this report.

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