The Huskers, who secured their first trip to the NCAA Championships since 2003, finished the tournament with a 58-over par 922 (313-298-311). Though the Huskers were the 15th seed heading into the 21-team tournament, Nebraska entered the final round in fourth place after producing the best round on the second day of the tournament on Friday with a sizzling 298.
Nebraska's 311 on Saturday was good enough to produce a five-stroke cushion ahead of ninth place Michigan State, as the top eighth teams in the Central Regional advanced to the NCAA Championships at the Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio, May 23-26.
"We're very excited and honored to be heading to the NCAA Championships," Nebraska Coach Robin Krapfl said. "It's a great reward for all the hard work the girls have put in, and I'm really proud of their efforts. We came here determined and played three solid rounds of golf."
After letting No. 1 Duke slip into the lead following the second round, USC came back to claim the tournament title with 19-over par 883, while Duke finished second with 885. Pepperdine (903), Florida (910), and Oklahoma State (916) rounded out the top five, while Big 12 champion Texas A&M finished in a tie for sixth with Kent State at 919.
Senior Stephanie Ruiz led the Huskers by finishing in a tie for 21st with a 228 after shooting a two-over-par 74 in the final round. Krapfl said the Edmond, Okla., native showed the same leadership she has given the Huskers consistently through the season.
"Stephanie is our leader and she really stepped up for us today," Krapfl said. "She played solid golf when she needed to and has led our team to the championships."
Sophomore Allison Stewart, who gave the Huskers a boost in the second round by firing a career-low 70 on Friday, finished in a tie for 31st with 230 (79-70-81), while junior Chrissie McArdle tied for 35th with 231 (77-75-79).
Sophomore Elli Brown shot 233 (79-77-77) to tie for 49th, and senior Sara Sackett finished with 240 (80-77-83) to tie for 71st.
The NCAA Championships will be held at the Scartlet Course in Columbus, Ohio, May 23-26. The 24-team tournament will feature eight teams who qualified from each of the Central, East and West regions.