The Nebraska women's golf team continues its fall season by journeying to Las Cruces, N.M., for the Price's "Give 'Em Five" Invitational, Oct. 8-10.
Nebraska takes aim at the par-72, 6,319-yard layout of the New Mexico State Golf Course for single rounds each day with shotgun starts at 9:30 a.m. (CT).
The Huskers will be part of a 13-team field in Las Cruces, including the hosts from New Mexico State. Other teams include Boise State, BYU, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, North Texas, Utah Valley, UTEP and Washington State.
Junior Katelyn Wright will lead the Huskers to the Southwest in search of her third straight top-20 finish to open the season. The Incline Village, Nev., native is coming off a tie for 20th (71-76-75-222) at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Wolcott, Colo., Sept. 24-26. Wright's effort against an elite 18-team field included a career-best-tying opening round 71.
True freshman Cassie Deeg also takes aim at another top-20 finish. The Hugo, Minn., native matched Wright with a 222 to tie for 20th at the Golfweek Challenge. Deeg's performance included the best round by a Husker so far this year with an opening-round three-under-par 69 at the Red Sky Golf Club.
Junior Steffi Neisen and redshirt freshmen Morgan Smejkal and Jackie O'Doherty round out the Husker lineup in New Mexico. Redshirt freshman Cassidy Stelzmiller also will make the trip to Las Cruces as an individual.
Live scoring for the tournament will be available at GolfStat.com, while round-by-round coverage will be available each day at Huskers.com.
Price's "Give 'Em Five" Invitational
Location: Las Cruces, N.M.
Host: New Mexico State
Course: New Mexico State Golf Course
Par/Yardage: Par 72/6,319 Yards
Shotgun Starts Each Day (All Times Central)
Monday, Oct. 8 - 9:30 a.m. (18 holes)
Tuesday, Oct. 9 - 9:30 a.m. (18 holes)
Wednesday, Oct. 10 - 9:30 a.m. (18 holes)
1. Katelyn Wright
2. Cassie Deeg
3. Steffi Neisen
4. Morgan Smejkal
5. Jackie O'Doherty
Individual: Cassidy Stelzmiller
Price's "Give 'Em Five" Field (13 Teams)
Boise State, BYU, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico State, North Texas, Utah Valley, UTEP, Washington State
Live Scoring: www.golfstat.com
Deeg, Wright Leads Huskers at Golfweek Challenge
Katelyn Wright and Cassie Deeg tied for 20th in a talented 18-team field to lead Nebraska at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Wolcott, Colo., Sept. 24-26.
Wright and Deeg each produced 54-hole totals of 222 at the Red Sky Golf Club to lead Nebraska to a 15th-place team finish at 924.
Wright produced her third consecutive solid round with a three-over-par 75 on the 6,236-yard, par-72 layout of the Fazio Course at Red Sky. Her three-round total was nine strokes better than her season-opening 231 at the Chip-N Club Invitational. Wright has posted six consecutive rounds better than 80 to open the season, including five rounds of 76 or better. For the tournament, she did not settle for a double-bogey, while managing five birdies, 38 pars and 11 bogeys.
Deeg, a true freshman from Hugo, Minn., added a solid final round with a 77. Deeg's 222 eclipsed her total at NU's season-opening Chip-N Club Invite, Sept. 10-11 at the Country Club of Lincoln by 21 strokes. Her three-round total of 222 included a career-best 69 in the first round.
Lincoln native Jackie O'Doherty carded her second straight solid round for the Huskers with a final-round 79. The redshirt freshman finished 87th with a 252, but produced rounds of 78 and 79 on the final two days of the tournament.
Fellow redshirt freshman Morgan Smejkal from Columbus, Neb., posted NU's fourth-best score of the final round with an 83 to finish with a 54-hole total of 256.
Steffi Neisen rounded out the Husker contingent with an 86 to tie for 74th at 242.
In a loaded 18-team field that included nine ranked teams, Pepperdine won the team title with a three-round score of 860 that included a final-round 285. UC Davis took runner-up honors with an 865 after firing an even-par 288 in the third round. Oklahoma finished third at 881.
UC Davis' Demi Runas earned medalist honors with a seven-under-par 209 over 54 holes. Runas closed the tournament with a one-under 71 on Wednesday after producing rounds of 71 and 67 through the first 36 holes. Pepperdine's Grace Na and Texas-San Antonio's Fabiola Arriaga tied for second at 212.
Wright Leads Huskers at Chip-N Club Invitational
Katelyn Wright tied for 11th individually to lead the Nebraska women's golf team to a seventh-place finish at the Huskers' season-opening Chip-N Club Invitational at the Country Club of Lincoln, Sept. 10-11.
Wright, a junior from Incline Village, Nev., closed the tournament with a three-round total of 231 (76-76-79) on the par-72, 6,075-yard layout at the Country Club of Lincoln. She was joined in the top 25 by fellow junior Steffi Neisen (New Prague, Minn.), who tied for 21st with a 54-hole score of 237 (80-78-79).
NU redshirt freshman Morgan Smejkal also tied for 21st (80-77-80-237) while playing in the first collegiate tournament of her career. Smejkal, a native of Columbus, Neb., was one of five Huskers to complete the first tournaments of their college careers.
True freshman Cassie Deeg (Hugo, Minn.) finished in a tie for 36th at 243 (81-82-80), while redshirt freshman Jackie O'Doherty from Lincoln closed in the top half of the 84-player field by tying for 42nd at 246 (82-83-81).
Those five Huskers produced a final-round 318 to close with a three-round tournament score of 948. Redshirt freshman Cassidy Stelzmiller, who tied for 55th at 256 and true freshman Hannah Luebke, who tied for 60th at 257, also competed as individuals for NU.
SMU captured the Chip-N Club team title for the second straight season with a three-round score of 903. The Mustangs scorched the course at the Country Club for a tournament-best final-round 289. SMU freshman Alexandra Rossi led the charge on the final day with a tournament-best, four-under-par 68 to win the individual crown at 219 (70-81-68).
Neisen, Wright Expected to Lead Huskers in 2012-13
The Nebraska women's golf team is one of the youngest in the Big Ten and the nation in 2012-13. Returning starters Steffi Neisen and Katelyn Wright lead a nine-player Husker roster that is without any seniors. The remainder of the roster consists of seven freshmen, including four true freshmen and a trio of redshirts.
"This year looks to be a rebuilding year on paper, with only two returning starters and no other players with collegiate experience," Nebraska Coach Robin Krapfl said. "But the potential is there for us to become a pretty good team. Steffi and Katelyn will need to provide strong leadership on and off the golf course to help our young team grow and develop."
Neisen has plenty of experience to draw upon as she assumes the role of a leader. The junior from New Prague, Minn., was in the NU lineup for 65 consecutive rounds in her first two seasons. She completed her sophomore season with Nebraska's No. 2 stroke average (76.67) in 2011-12. Her year included a school-record round of 66 at the Mountain View Collegiate on March 23. She notched three top-10 tournament finishes on the year, including a tie for second at the Alamo Invitational, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, when she fired a career-best 214 over three rounds. She closed her second year in Nebraska's starting lineup by tying for 25th at the 2012 Big Ten Championships.
A standout in the classroom and in the community, Neisen was honored as a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient, while also earning academic All-Big Ten honors. She also captured NGCA Scholastic All-America recognition for the second straight year.
Wright was also in the starting lineup throughout the 2011-12 campaign. The junior from Incline Village, Nev., competed in all 33 rounds for the Huskers and continued to shave strokes off her game as the season progressed. She started slow and battled some health issues in the fall, but came on strong in the spring. In one three-tournament stretch, Wright averaged 75.77, including a career-best 218 at the Westbrook Invitational in Peoria, Ariz.
"I'm really excited to see what Katelyn will do this year. She has the ability to not only be our most improved player, but also one of the most improved in the Big Ten," Krapfl said. "When you take a multi-sport athlete like Katie was, it takes a couple of years to catch up with those players who only played golf. But when that athlete breaks out, great things can happen. With Katie's work ethic, she has put in the time it takes and is ready to break out."
Redshirt Freshmen Hoping to Make Impact in Second Seasons
Second-year Huskers Jackie O'Doherty, Morgan Smejkal and Cassidy Stelzmiller all redshirted in their first seasons in Nebraska's program in 2011-12.
O'Doherty, a two-time Nebraska Class A state champion at Lincoln East High School, was a three-time Class A all-state pick in golf. She was also a member of the 2011 Four State Team and the 2010 Nebraska Junior Golf All-Star Team. She was also a competitive swimmer and posted better than a 4.0 GPA at Lincoln East.
"Jackie is a a great student with a wonderful personality and a good work ethic. She has good length, a solid golf swing and possesses a strong competitive side," Krapfl said. "She is coming off a hand injury that had her sidelined much of the summer, but it may be a blessing in disguise because she was forced to only work on her short game. It is going to be a battle between the freshmen to see who emerges into a prominent role in the lineup, but I would not be surprised if Jackie captures one of those spots."
Smejkal, a Columbus, Neb., native, was a two-time Class A all-state selection and produced a pair of top-five finishes at the state tournament. She was also a member of the Nebraska Junior Golf All-Star Team in 2009 and 2010, and she was a member of the 2010 and 2011 Nebraska Four State Team. She was also an outstanding basketball player who set Columbus High's three-point record.
"Morgan was recruited as an athlete with potential to develop into a college-level golfer, and she has embraced that goal," Krapfl said. "We have had quite a few hard-working athletes in my tenure, and Morgan's work ethic is right up there with the best. You've got to love a kid who gives it her all in everything she does. Not only that, she has also embraced what being a great teammate is all about. Morgan has good length, is meticulous in her thought process and hates to lose. As soon as she can get away from thinking too much and just play, she could develop into one heck of a player."
Stelzmiller was a highly regarded recruit from Placerville, Calif., who had success as a junior player competing in several major events, including the Women's Trans.
"We headed into last season thinking Cassidy could help us right away, and even though I think she could have, I'm glad she elected to take the year off and develop her game. It is exciting to think of how far she can progress in the next four years," Krapfl said. "She has excellent length and a great touch on the greens. With a year of maturity, we are hoping for big things from Cassidy."
Deeg Expected to Lead Four True Freshmen on NU Roster
The final ingredients to Nebraska's 2012-13 team come from four true freshmen, including two international players. The freshmen will all be given an opportunity to compete for positions in the lineup.
Cassie Deeg could make an immediate impact. The Hugo, Minn., native captured the 2011 Minnesota state title while helping Stillwater Area High School to runner-up team finishes in both 2011 and 2012.
Deeg added a third-place individual Class 3A finish in 2012, and was also the Minnesota Women's Match Play runner-up.
Another true freshman with an excellent chance to contribute early is Hannah Luebke. One of the top young golfers in Germany, Luebke became the first European player to sign with the Huskers since Catha Fogelberg (Sweden) in 1997-98. A native of Stuttgart, Luebke is the second German to join the Huskers in history, following in the footsteps of Shirin Hornecker (Munich), who played for Nebraska from 1996 to 1998.
Luebke finished second in the BWGW International Match Play and third at the German Youth National Championships. At 6-foot-1, Luebke was also an All-German performer as a middle blocker/outside hitter on the volleyball court in both 2009 and 2010.
Huskers Continue to Set the Pace in the Classroom
Nebraska leads the nation with 61 NGCA Scholastic All-Americans since 1989, including two in 2012. Madeleine Sheils capped her outstanding career on and off the course as the fourth four-time NGCA Scholastic All-America award winner in Husker history. Sheils joined Jackie Beste, Allison Stewart and JC Stevenson as four-time Husker NGCA Scholastic All-Americans.
Sheils was joined on the 2012 NGCA Scholastic All-America squad for the second straight year by Steffi Neisen. The junior from New Prague, Minn., takes aim at her third straight award in 2013.
Overall, Nebraska owns one of the richest academic traditions in all of collegiate sports with a nation-leading 299 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans across all teams and all sports. NU also led the nation with 16 NCAA Top Eight Award winners.