2014-2015 MCC Finish: 1st of 7
Letterwinners returning/lost: 8/3
Demi Coertze Sr. Johannesburg, South Africa
(First-team all-MCC, 78.8 avg., low of 73)
Natalie Booton Sr. Mount Pleasant, Iowa
(Honorable-mention all-MCC, 82.0 avg., low of 76)
Courtney Cunningham Jr. Muskogee, Okla.
(Letterwinner, 83.1 avg., low of 76)
Jing Yang Sr. Woodland Hills, Calif.
(Letterwinner, 83.0 avg., low of 73)
Helene Larsen Fr. Viborg, Denmark
Miranda Keeler So. Plattsmouth, Neb.
Bailey Rimes Fr. Niceville, Fla.
Elise Warne Fr. Balwin North, Australia
The Statesmen women’s golf team looks to transfer its recent dominant play into a new conference as it opens the 2015-2016 season.
William Penn, winners of the Midwest Collegiate Conference Championships the last two seasons, finished last year in 12th place at the NAIA National Championships. Gone may be Maggie Yang, the most decorated player in program history, but Head Coach Nik Rule returns three players who have all-league honors on their resume. The coaching staff also brought in arguably its best recruiting class ever as WPU looks to push even higher up the national rankings.
With Yang’s graduation, Demi Coertze (Sr., Johannesburg, South Africa, Digital Communication) steps into the team’s top spot. She should have no issues adjusting as her first three seasons at WPU all culminated in first-team all-MCC recognition. Coertze owned a 78.8 stroke average and won three tournament crowns last year.
Natalie Booton (Sr., Mount Pleasant, Elementary Education) enjoyed a breakout season as a junior (honorable-mention all-MCC pick, 82.0 avg.) and will complement Coertze well. Jing Yang (Sr., Woodland Hills, Calif., Biology) and Courtney Cunningham (Jr., Muskogee, Okla., Computer Science) have also spent many weekends traveling with the varsity and will be even bigger assets as upperclassmen.
Alexi Rule (Jr., Idaho Falls, Idaho, Elementary Education) and Jodi Saito (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii, Education) have been on the cusp in the past and should fight for varsity spots, while fellow returners Brooke Fletcher (So., Atlantic, Iowa, Business Management), Jordan Postma (So., Marion, Iowa, Biology), and Aramina Flores (So., Corpus Christi, Texas, History/Government) look to continue their improvement as sophomores.
Not only is the incoming class large in size, it is also behemoth in talent as eight new bodies put on the navy and gold. Transfer Miranda Keeler (So., Plattsmouth, Neb., Communications) heads the group after earning league Newcomer of the Year honors at AIB.
Helene Larsen (Fr., Viborg, Denmark, Business Management), Sofie Lund (Fr., Herning, Denmark, Psychology), and Elise Warne (Fr., Balwin North, Australia, Exercise Science) are all making overseas treks to compete for WPU, while Americans Tiffany Duhon (Fr., Lafayette, La, Elementary Education), Alyssa Kerry (Fr., Bend, Ore., Communications), Megan Rhoads (Fr., Schertz, Texas), and Bailey Rimes (Fr., Niceville, Fla., Public Accounting) will begin their first collegiate seasons this fall.
Three home events highlight the fall slate, beginning with the Midwest Collegiate Open on August 31-September 1 in Moravia. The Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in Oklahoma City, Okla. will be the team’s last and toughest test as William Penn takes on some of the NAIA’s best programs. The Statesmen will enter the year as the Heart of America Athletic Conference favorite, while Baker took last year’s league crown.