The Nebraska women's golf team will resume competition this spring by traveling to the BYU at Entrada Classic March 19-20 in St. George, Utah.
The Huskers will tee off in a 14-team field at the Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club on Monday at approximately 9:30 a.m. (central). NU will play 36 holes on Monday beginning with tee times off No. 1 and No. 10. The Huskers will complete the 54-hole event with the final round on Tuesday with tee times again beginning off No. 1 and No. 10.
The Huskers and the hosts from BYU will be joined by Cal State Fullerton, Illinois, New Mexico State, North Texas, Northern Arizona, Oklahoma State, Southern Utah, Texas State, Utah Valley, Weber State and Wyoming in the hunt for the team title.
Last season, the Huskers tied for eighth in a 15-team field at Entrada, as Madeleine Sheils tied for 10th individually with a 229.
Sheils, a senior from Boise, Idaho, leads the Huskers with 74.38 stroke average on the year and will play out of the top spot for the Huskers. Sophomore Steffi Neisen will occupy the No. 2 spot after tying for 39th in Utah a year ago. Neisen ranks second among the Huskers this season with a 76.62 stroke average.
Sophomore Katelyn Wright, who is coming off the best performance of her career with a 15th-place finish and a career-best 218 at the Westbrook Spring Invitational, Feb. 26-27, will play out of the No. 3 spot. Freshman Shelby Martinek, who added a career-best 221 to tie for 21st at Westbrook three weeks ago, will compete out of the fourth-spot, while senior Kayla Knopik rounds out the Husker lineup.
Senior Katie Keiser and sophomore Remylee Molyneux will also compete as individuals for the Huskers in Utah.
Wright Leads Huskers With Career Bests at Westbrook Invite
Katelyn Wright finished off the best tournament of her collegiate career with a career-best 71 in the final round to lead Nebraska at the Westbrook Invitational in Peoria, Ariz., Feb. 27-28
Wright's career-best round allowed her to finish with a career-best tournament score of 218 (73-74-71) and close in 15th place. Wright shattered her previous career-best 54-hole tournament score, which came with a 228 at the 2010 Alamo Invitational. Her low round surpassed the 72 she shot at the 2011 Alamo Invite.
With the sophomore from Incline Village, Nev., leading the way, the Huskers finished seventh. Nebraska closed the two-day event on the Vistas Course at the Westbrook Village Golf Club with a season-best three-round total of 882.
Wright wasn't the only Husker to produce a career-best tournament score at the 12-team event hosted by Wisconsin. NU freshman Shelby Martinek, a native of Tempe, Ariz., fired a one-over-par 73 to close at 221 in a tie for 21st. Martinek's three-round total shattered her previous tournament best by nine strokes, which she set with a 230 at the 2011 Hoosier Invitational.
Senior Madeleine Sheils added a 73 of her own to match Martinek in a tie for 21st at 221. Sophomore Steffi Neisen also pitched in a 73 to finish at 225 in a tie for 40th. Nebraska's final-round total of 290 marked the Huskers' second-best round of the season, trailing only a second-round 280 at the 2011 Alamo Invite.
Senior Kayla Knopik rounded out the Husker top five with a final-round 75 to close in a tie for 49th at 228. Fellow senior Katie Keiser added a tie for 61st after shooting a season-best 76 in the final round to close with a season-best 234.
Illinois (853) captured the team title on the 6,176-yard par 72 layout of the Vistas Course. The Fighting Illini were led by individual medalist Nora Lucas, who scorched the course for an 11-under-par 205 over three rounds.
Texas Tech finished second in the team race at 856, while Red Raiders Gabriella Dominguez and Kimberly Kaufman tied for second with nine-under-par 209's.
Several Huskers Set Career Bests at Alamo Invite
Nebraska wrapped up its 2011 fall season with strong scoring at the Alamo Invitational in San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 30-Nov. 1. As a team, the Huskers fired a then-season-best 884 on the Briggs Ranch Golf Course.
Nebraska's effort in San Antonio included a school-record 280 in the second round, which eclipsed the previous best team mark of 284 set last season at the Mountain View Collegiate in Tucson, Ariz.
NU's strong team performance at the Alamo Invite included several career-best efforts. Steffi Neisen set the tone with a career-best 214 over three rounds to tie for second. Neisen shattered her previous career-best total (224), while also firing a career-best 69 in the final round. It was Neisen's first career top-five finish.
Senior Kayla Knopik set career bests with a three-round total of 219 (previous best 227) that included a career-best 69 in the second round. Knopik tied for 13th place in the final standings, the second-best finish of her career.
Shelby Martinek (70, 2nd) also fired a career-best round for the Huskers
Neisen Claims Huskers' Third Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week Award
Nebraska sophomore Steffi Neisen claimed the first Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week award of her career when the conference announced its weekly winner on Nov. 3.
Neisen joined Purdue junior Paula Reto in capturing the conference's weekly honor, the Big Ten-leading third weekly award won by the Huskers this season.
Neisen, a native of New Prague, Minn., produced the best performance of her career in tying for second at the Alamo Invitational, Oct. 30-Nov. 1. Neisen notched a career-best three-round score of 214 (-2), trailing only UTSA's Fabiola Arriaga by one stroke in the final individual standings.
Neisen's three-round total shattered her previous 54-hole score of 222 (set last season at the Mountain View Collegiate). Her performance at the Briggs Ranch Golf Course in San Antonio included a career-best three-under-par 69 in the final round. Neisen's career effort helped NU to its top team total (884) of the fall campaign.
Sheils Earns Two Big Ten Weekly Awards
Nebraska's Madeleine Sheils captured her second Big Ten Women's Golfer-of-the-Week award in a three-week span when she claimed the honor on Oct. 19.
Sheils, a senior from Boise, Idaho, posted her second top-five finish in three events by tying for fourth in a 77-player field at the Hoosier Fall Invite in Carmel, Ind., Oct. 17-18. Sheils produced a three-round total of 225 that included a final-round 72 to help the Huskers finish fourth in a 13-team field. Sheils has notched four top-10 finishes on the season and five top-20 showings in Nebraska's seven events. She leads the Huskers with a 74.38 stroke average.
She became the first Nebraska golfer in history to win the Big Ten's weekly award on Oct. 6, following her tournament win at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in Sammamish, Wash., Oct. 3-5. Sheils' performance in Washington included a school-record-tying 67 on her way to a career-best three-round score of 214.
Sheils Captures First Career Crown in Washington
Madeleine Sheils tied the school record with a final-round 67 to capture her first collegiate title at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invite at the Sahalee Country Club Oct. 5.
Sheils, a senior from Boise, Idaho, claimed her first individual medalist honor as a collegian with a three-round total of 214, one shot better than Washington's Jennifer Yang and Oregon's Cassy Isagawa. Sheils' final-round 67 included six birdies (Holes 3, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15) and one bogey (Hole 6) to go along with 11 pars.
The 67 marked the lowest round Sheils has ever produced, and matched the Nebraska record shared by Stephanie Ruiz (Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invite, 2005), Kate White (Bronco Invite, 2007) and Natalie Gleadall (UNLV Spring Invite, 2009).
Senior Trio Leads Huskers into First Season in Big Ten
Nebraska was one of the most inexperienced teams in the Big 12 last year with four first-year players in the lineup, but NU returns all but one starter in 2012. Seniors Madeleine Sheils, Kayla Knopik and Katie Keiser lead a young and talented collection of seven freshmen and sophomores into Nebraska's first Big Ten season.
Although the Huskers are still relatively young, Sheils and Knopik played in every round for the Huskers last season, and Keiser added 26 rounds in her first year at NU in 2010-11. Sheils, a three-year letterwinner from Boise, Idaho, brings a load of collegiate and national amateur experience to the top of the Husker lineup. She has played every round in the Husker lineup the past two seasons and the fall of 2011-12.
Sheils owns eight career top-10 finishes and 14 top-25 showings, while owning Nebraska's top returning stroke average from 2010-11. While battling for All-Big Ten honors on the course, the three-time NGCA Scholastic All-American will try to become just the fourth Husker in history to earn four Scholastic All-America awards, while also contending for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
Sophomores Hope to Make Greater Impact in Second Seasons
Steffi Neisen headlines a talented sophomore class. She competed in all 32 rounds for Nebraska last season. The New Prague, Minn., native produced the Huskers' No. 3 stroke average (77.13) on the year, which also ranked as the third-best stroke average by a freshman in school history. In the classroom, she was also an NGCA Scholastic All-American. With a year of collegiate experience and a strong summer, Neisen has trimmed her average to 76.62 in 2011-12.
While Neisen was a fixture in the Husker lineup as a freshman, Katelyn Wright and also made multiple appearances in the NU top five in 2010-11.
Wright was regularly NU's No. 6 golfer early in the year, but earned spring lineup spots at the BYU Entrada Classic and the Mountain View Collegiate. For the season, she posted an 80.08 stroke average over 25 rounds. She has earned a lineup spot in each of Nebraska's tournaments of 2011-12.
Freshman Martinek Adding Depth and Competition
Along with added experience, the Husker roster features more depth in 2011-12 with the addition of four talented freshmen, led by Shelby Martinek. Nebraska entered 2010-11 with just eight players on the roster, and Bird and Molyneux each missed significant portions of last season with injuries.
One of the top high school golfers in the state of Arizona over the past four years and an experienced junior golfer at the national level, Shelby Martinek brings a decorated resume to Nebraska. The 2008 Arizona Class 5A-II state champion, Martinek was ranked as one of the top 175 players in the GolfWeek/Sagarin girls rankings as a senior at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe. Martinek is getting a chance to help the Huskers early in her career, competing as an individual at the Chip-N Club Invite before earning lineup spots at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational, the Hoosier Fall Invitational, where she tied for 18th, and the Alamo Invite.
A pair of talented Nebraska natives will try to bolster the Huskers for the future with the addition of Lincoln's Jackie O'Doherty and Morgan Smejkal from Columbus.
O'Doherty, a two-time Nebraska Class A state champion, 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.
Smejkal was a two-time Class A all-state selection and produced a pair of top-five performances at the state tournament in her career. Smejkal was also a member of the Nebraska Junior Golf All-Star Team in 2009 and 2010, and she was a member of the Nebraska Four State Team in 2010 and 2011. One of the top young golfers in California, Cassidy Stelzmiller brings loads of potential to Nebraska. At the junior level, Stelzmiller was one of the top 400 players in the GolfWeek/Sagarin girls ratings. O'Doherty, Smejkal and Stelzmiller all plan to redshirt in 2011-12.
Huskers Continue to Set the Pace in the Classroom
Nebraska leads the nation with 59 NGCA Scholastic All-Americans since 1989, including two in 2011. Senior Madeleine Sheils has captured three straigh NGCA Scholastic All-America honors and will try to become just the fourth Husker in history to win four awards in 2012. Sheils, a senior philosophy major from Boise, Idaho, hopes to join Jackie Beste, Allison Stewart and JC Stevenson as four-time Husker NGCA Scholastic All-Americans. Sheils was joined on the 2011 NGCA Scholastic All-America squad by 2010-11 freshman Steffi Neisen. The sophomore from New Prague, Minn., will take aim at her second straight award in 2012.
Overall, Nebraska owns one of the richest academic traditions in all of collegiate sports with a nation-leading 294 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans across all teams and all sports. The Huskers also lead the nation with 16 NCAA Top Eight Award winners. In 2010-11, Nebraska produced 15 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans while 113 student-athletes across all sports earned their bachelor's degrees during the 2010-11 academic year.