William Penn Three-Peats, Returns To Nationals

Nebraska City, Neb.–It may be a different conference, but the result is a similar one as the Statesmen women’s golf team brought home another league title by claiming the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championships Monday and Tuesday.

#21 WPU was first out of 11 teams with a two-day score of 643 (326-317) at Table Creek Golf Course.  It is the program’s third league title in a row (last two in the Midwest Collegiate Conference) and its fourth-straight tourney crown overall (school-record seventh this year).  Rival Grand View was second, 21 strokes behind the Statesmen at 664 (338-326).

The win secures an automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships on May 17-20 at Savannah Quarters Country Club in Porter, Ga.  Joining the Statesmen will be individual medalist Lucy Clark of Culver-Stockton who posted a 153 (76-77).

Demi Coertze (Sr., Johannesburg, South Africa, Digital Communication) was just three strokes behind Clark for the top spot at 156 (81-75) to place second.

Elise Warne (Fr., Melbourne, Australia, Exercise Science) matched Coertze with a tourney-low 75 on Tuesday, finishing fourth out of 53 players at 158 (83-75).

Brooke Fletcher (So., Atlantic, Iowa, Business Management) tied for sixth at 164 (80-84), while Natalie Booton (Sr., Mount Pleasant, Elementary Education) tied for ninth at 166 (83-83).  Miranda Keeler (So., Plattsmouth, Neb., Communications) rounded out the team’s scoring in 16th place at 172 (82-90).

William Penn will be seeking its first national title in program history, after finishing 15th in 2014 and 12th last spring.

“I am so proud of every player in our program; this is a culmination of an entire season of hard work,” Head Coach Nik Rule said.  “Our vision for this program is a team-centered dynamic that focuses on how to succeed together; that big-picture approach is something our players learn to excel in. The only way it became possible to win three league titles in a row was by understanding that we can accomplish far more as a group than we can as individuals. Our university and community can be proud of what our young ladies have accomplished on and off the course.”

“We are really beginning to hit our stride and are showing signs of performing at the level we should be at,” Rule added.  “We challenged our players after a sub-par first day to take their games to the next level and as a whole we did.  Hard work pays off when it is done with character and inspired dedication.  Not much can beat this feeling and we are so excited to represent William Penn University and the Heart of America Athletic Conference at nationals in a few weeks.”

Story provided by Wade Steinlage

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