Tue, Aug. 21, 2012 - [Women's Golf]
2011-2012 MCC Finish: 4th of 9
Letterwinners returning/lost: 5/2
Maggie Yang So. Chino, Calif.
(First-team all-MCC, 80.8 avg., low of 75)
Courtney Kronmuller Sr. Fountain Valley, Calif.
(Honorable-mention all-MCC, 84.5 avg., low of 80)
Mayci Rule Sr. Idaho Falls, Idaho
(88.6 avg., low of 82)
Ashley Manhnieo So. Las Vegas, Nev.
(91.3 avg., low of 83)
Demi Coertze Fr. Johannesburg, South Africa
Natalie Booton Fr. Mount Pleasant
Danielle Giannotti Jr. Phoenix, Ariz.
On the heels of the best campaign in school history, the William Penn women's golf team is looking to go even further in 2012-2013.
The Lady Statesmen had a jaw-dropping season, highlighted by three tournament crowns and the breaking of every single record in the books. The team unfortunately came up a bit short at season's end, finishing fourth at the Midwest Collegiate Conference Championships. The finish was still the best in three tries since joining the league.
"Last year we took a large step toward building a sustainable foundation for our team and we look to build on that this year," Head Coach Nik Rule said. "Our ladies understand that we exist for one another and for our University while wearing the Lady Statesmen uniform, and that philosophy and attitude certainly translated into a team that was united to be successful. As our team has grown in numbers this year, we look to grow in success as well and we have some significant depth."
A majority of last year's broken records came from arguably the best player to have ever worn the navy and gold, Maggie Yang (So., Chino, Calif., Diamond Bar HS). The sophomore snapped 18-hole (75) and 36-hole (151) records in March and was named NAIA Player of the Week for that performance.
A first-team all-MCC pick, Yang posted an 80.8 scoring average with two tourney wins and six other top-five finishes.
"Maggie made a smooth transition from the junior ranks to the college game," Rule said. "She excelled, but is not satisfied, which is a good thing. She has put herself in a position to take her game to the next level, which I am confident she will do."
Courtney Kronmuller (Sr., Fountain Valley, Calif., Fullerton CC) returns to make up the other half of the tremendous 1-2 punch. An honorable-mention all-league selection, her 84.5 average was second on the team.
"At the end of last year, Courtney came to me and asked for me to put a tough offseason plan together for her," Rule said. "We had her on a strict summer practice schedule in which she played in numerous competitive amateur tournaments in Iowa and played against some of the best college golfers in the Midwest. That hard work has paid off and she has developed a strong confidence and a chip on her shoulder to exceed her improvement from last year."
Mayci Rule (Sr., Idaho Falls, Idaho, Skyline HS), Ashley Manhnieo (So., Las Vegas, Nev., Olathe Northwest HS), and Presley Joss (Sr., Osceola, Clarke HS) also jump back on the course to supply William Penn with additional experienced talent. Rule produced an 88.6 mark last year, while Manhnieo was at 91.3 and Joss was at 107.3.
"These three definitely provide us with some significant depth," Rule said. "All three had varsity tournament experience and were on our postseason squad. That experience is invaluable as we progress toward our goal of winning a conference championship."
"We will only have Mayci for the fall semester as she will be graduating, but she understands that her impact should not only be long-lasting on the course, but with her teammates as well. Mayci has the most tournament and college golf experience on our squad and that veteran knowledge will be important to pass along to her teammates."
"Ashley has yet to reach her full potential and fully understands where her game can go," Rule said. "She is a hard worker and is the type of player that every coach loves to have on their team. Having a year of experience under her belt will be extremely beneficial as she continues to make an impact on our team."
"Presley is a sponge; she soaks in everything I say and tries to implement it into her game and has been successful in doing so," Rule said. "Over the last two seasons, she has improved more than anyone on the team and has yet to reach her full potential. I like what I have seen from her in training camp, and her relationship with her teammates is the glue that keeps everyone together."
Beyond the returners, an impressive recruiting class will only strengthen the team's chances of getting to the top. Demi Coertze (Fr., Johannesburg, South Africa, Edenvale HS) tops the group as the first-ever international player to come across the pond for the program.
"Demi comes to us with some seasoned experience on the golf course," Rule said. "She has played in some of the most competitive amateur events in South Africa and I expect she will make an immediate impact on our varsity squad. We spent quite a bit of time developing a strong relationship with her during the recruiting process and it feels like she has already been here for a year. Having her in the mix will make things exciting."
Natalie Booton (Fr., Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant HS) and Lindsay Dorn (Fr., Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant HS) will both be making the trek up Highways 34 and 63 to join the squad.
"It is exciting to have two young athletes from down the road," Rule said. "Natalie and Lindsay are great people and will fit in perfect with our team. Natalie is the type of player that has amazing potential and she will work hard in practice to reach that. I believe she can make an impact on our varsity team and as we continue to make adjustments to improve her golf game."
"Lindsay reminds me a lot of her older teammate Presley in that she is a total sponge when it comes to listening and improving her game," Rule said. "I have been very happy and pleasantly surprised with her game and I believe with hard work she can be a strong contributor to our team, both now and into the future."
Also coming aboard this year will be Janet Kuskie (Fr., Grant, Neb., Perkins County HS), Danielle Giannotti (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz., South Mountain CC), and Samantha Lingle (Fr., Manilla, Manning HS).
"Janet has a natural golf swing, and with coaching, can develop it into a swing that is worthy of excelling at the college level," Rule said. "She is an amazing young lady with a big heart and will do anything to make the team better. That is the type of attitude we are looking for."
"Danielle was our latest signing for this year and we are lucky to have her on board," Rule said. "She comes with two years of college golf experience and most recently played in the NJCAA national tournament last spring. She is the type of player who stays out of trouble and can post respectable and consistent scores that will help the team score. We have to have players like that and she is one of them."
"Sam is a very positive student-athlete," Rule said. "She has that Midwest, hard-working attitude that will benefit our team and her game personally. I am excited to see where her game goes this season as we work hard on development."
The fall schedule begins on August 31-September 1 in Marion for the Mount Mercy Invitational. William Penn then travels to Minnesota, South Dakota, and Illinois for events, in addition to hosting its own event on October 19-20 in Oskaloosa.
"Part of our philosophy is that we are going to go and play in tough tournaments so we can be prepared for conference in April," Rule said. "The Mount Mercy Invitational is a contest with a huge field that will be a very good test to gauge where we are and what we need to do for the rest of the fall. We will also have some contests for our second team as well. We plan on implementing a system that is similar to the men's basketball program here with a varsity squad and a ‘development' squad."
Grand View warmed up late to grab the MCC title last year. Rule expects the Vikings to again be a contender, while Viterbo and St. Ambrose should not be overlooked either.
"Plain and simple, when you win the conference championship you are the hunted and Grand View did that last year," Rule said. "Right now, they have the target on their back and we will work every day to catch them because our goal is to be where they ended last year. They have a good team and it will be a fun season competing against them. Yet, make no mistake about it, we have a strong conference that is getting stronger. Taking a look at last season, no one expected William Penn to make a run in this conference and for much of the season we were rated at the top. Anything can happen and you cannot look past any team at any point in the season because they just might surprise you like we did to everyone last year."
"This year is going to be exciting, no doubt about it," Rule said. "We have a strong and united front, a team that exists for one another, and because of that, we have a foundation built to succeed. There has been a lot of hard work by our ladies in the last two years to turn this program around and I am confident in saying that we are now traveling in the right direction because of their hard work. We have high expectations; we will have no excuses and we have just as good of a chance to win as anyone."