The Nebraska women’s golf team will complete the fall portion of its 2016-17 schedule when the Huskers travel to Nevada for the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown, Oct. 23-25.
The Huskers will play three rounds over three days on the par-72 layout at the Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nev. The action begins with tee times off No. 1 and No. 10 on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 9:30 a.m. (CT). Monday’s second round also begins at 9:30 a.m. (CT) off No. 1 and No. 10, before Tuesday’s final round will use a shotgun start at 10 a.m. (CT).
Nebraska will join Indiana as Big Ten Conference members in a loaded 18-team field in Las Vegas. Former Big 12 Conference counterparts, Texas, Baylor and Missouri also will be in the field, along with SEC contender Vanderbilt. The other 12 spots in the field are filled with teams from the West Coast and mountain regions.
Live scoring for the tournament will be available from BirdieFire.com. Last season, Nebraska set 18-hole (278), 36-hole (569) and 54-hole (860) school records at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown.
2016 Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown
Location: Boulder City, Nev.
Course: Boulder Creek Golf Club (Par 72, 6,301 Yards)
Tee Times: Sunday, Oct. 23 - 9:30 a.m. (CT)
Tee Times: Monday, Oct. 24 - 9:30 a.m. (CT)
Shotgun: Tuesday, Oct. 25 - 10 a.m. (CT)
Participating Teams (18)
- Colorado State
- Fresno State
- Long Beach State
- New Mexico
- New Mexico State
- San Diego State
- UC Irvine
- UC Riverside
1. Kate Smith
2. Audrey Judd
3. Emily Gillman
4. Sarah Pravecek
5. Annie Sritragul
Freshman Smith Powering Young Huskers on the Rise
Nebraska’s Kate Smith is setting an impressive standard early in her collegiate career. The freshman from Detroit Lakes, Minn., notched her third straight top-10 finish by tying for seventh with a career-best 215 at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate, Oct. 7-9.
For her effort in Colorado, Smith earned the first Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week award of her career. It was her fourth consecutive top-15 showing to open her career and allowed her to improve her team-leading stroke average to 73.00.
Smith, who owns rounds of 69, 70, 70 and 72 among her 11 rounds so far this season, is 2.63 strokes per round ahead of Haley Thiele’s school freshman-record 75.63 set in 2015-16. In fact, only two Husker freshman golfers in history have produced season stroke averages of better than 76, including first-team All-American Sarah Sasse (75.89) in 1998-99.
The overall Nebraska single-season stroke average record was set by Natalie Gleadall (74.00) in 2009-10.
Huskers Take Step Forward with Strong Showing in Colorado
Nebraska heads to Las Vegas after a solid performance at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate, Oct. 7-9. The Huskers finished sixth among 18 teams in a strong field, while shooting a season-best 876 on the 6,450-yard layout at the Highlands Ranch Golf Club. Nebraska’s performance included a season-best 288 in the final round.
Freshman Kate Smith (73-72-70-215) and junior Audrey Judd (69-75-71-215) both produced career-best tournament scores on their way to career-best tournament finishes in a tie for seventh in the 102-player field.
Junior Emily Gillman added the best tournament of her career (72-75-72-219) to tie for 23rd.
Freshmen to Play Major Roles for Young Huskers in 2016-17
Nebraska is putting one of its youngest lineups in history on the course in 2016-17. The Huskers replaced 2015-16 seniors Cassie Deeg, Morgan Smejkal and Cassidy Stelzmiller with three true freshmen when they opened the season at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic.
Not only are the Huskers replacing three seniors, including fifth-year seniors Smejkal and Stelzmiller, they are also compensating for the loss of Haley Thiele. The sophomore from Wahoo, Neb., produced the best freshman stroke average (75.63) in school history in 2015-16 and was Nebraska’s No. 2 finisher at the Big Ten Championships. Thiele is expected to redshirt in 2016-17 while recovering from a wrist injury.
With four open spots in the lineup and just one senior - Sarah Pravecek - on the roster, the four members of Nebraska’s freshman class will get chances to prove themselves in the lineup early in their careers.
Freshman Kate Smith has played out of the No. 1 spot in the Husker lineup throughout the fall, while freshmen Annie Sritragul and Claire Robertson have also earned lineup spots early this season.
Smith and Sritragul played out of the top two spots at the Chip-N Club Invitational, while Robertson and Jessica Haraden competed as individuals.
Thiele Redshirting in 2016-17
Sophomore Haley Thiele is redshirt during the 2016-17 season while recovering from a wrist injury that kept her out of action throughout the summer of 2016.
Thiele produced one of the best freshman seasons in Nebraska history in 2015-16, notching a freshman school-record 75.63 stroke average. She also closed her rookie year as NU’s No. 2 finisher at the Big Ten Championships in 39th place. During the season, Thiele tied the Husker freshman record with a five-under-par 67 at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown while matching first-team All-American Sarah Sasse’s overall school record with a three-round tournament score of 209.
“Haley showed her outstanding potential last year, but we all feel like she has a lot of great golf ahead of her,” Nebraska Coach Robin Krapfl said. “Her injury kept her off the course the entire summer, and she has a good plan in place for a complete recovery. We know it is the best thing for her future as a golfer and for our program.”
Pravecek Provides Senior Presence
Sarah Pravecek is the lone senior on Nebraska’s 2016-17 roster. The fourth-year golfer from Omaha competed for the Big Red at each of the last two Big Ten Championships. She produced a 77.83 stroke average over 24 rounds as a junior.
Pravecek has played 63 career rounds for the Huskers and is becoming a fixture in the lineup in her final season in Lincoln. She owns Nebraska’s No. 3 stroke average (76.18) through four fall tournaments.
Off the course, Pravecek is a two-time academic All-Big Ten selection and was a member of the 2016 Tom Osborne Citizenship Team for her commitment to Nebraska’s community outreach and leadership efforts.
“We are looking forward to Sarah having her best season as a Husker,” Krapfl said. “We will need her to be a leader for us on and off the course since we have such a young team.”
Junior Class Could be Key to Huskers’ 2016-17 Success
Audrey Judd and Emily Gillman are playing major roles on and off the course for the Huskers in 2016-17. Judd, a junior from Olathe, Kan., was a regular in Nebraska’s lineup in her first two seasons in the program. As a freshman, she played 24 rounds for the Big Red and finished with a 78.08 average. She competed for Nebraska at the 2015 and 2016 Big Ten Championships.
Judd is coming off the best performance of her Husker career with a tie for seventh at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate, Oct. 7-9. Judd fired a career-best 215 (69-75-71), which included a career-best opening-round 69. Her effort in Colorado followed a tie for 16th at the Chip-N Club Invitational, Sept. 25-27. Judd produced a three-round total of 225.
Judd also has demonstrated her leadership potential as a two-time member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team, while also earning academic All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore in 2016.
Gillman, a junior from Austin, Texas, is also coming off the best tournament of her career with a tie for 23rd at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate. Gillman’s career-best 219 included career-best even-par scores of 72 in the first and third rounds.
Gillman owns NU’s fourth-best stroke average (77.45) on the season, and has competed inside the Husker lineup for all 11 rounds.
Gillman played just 12 rounds for the Huskers as a sophomore. As a freshman, she played 27 rounds for the Big Red and produced a 78.22 stroke average. She was also in the lineup for the Huskers as a true freshman at the 2015 Big Ten Championships.
Off the course, Gillman was named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and earned academic All-Big Ten accolades before being named to the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.
Freshman Smith Continues Minnesota Connection
Kate Smith has second a record-setting pace in the Husker lineup. The true freshman from Detroit Lakes, Minn., is the only five-time individual state champion in Minnesota high school history. She capped her career by claiming a share of her record fifth title on June 15, while leading Detroit Lakes High School to its fourth state team championship in the past five years.
The winner of the 2016 Minnesota Ms. Golf Award, Smith set three course records as a senior, including a 64 at The Vintage Course. As a junior, she produced a stellar 70.37 stroke average.
Smith continues a tradition of top golfers from the state of Minnesota playing at Nebraska, including Cassie Deeg (Hugo, 2013-16), Steffi Neisen (New Prague, 2011-14), Chrissie McArdle (Eden Prairie, 2004-07) and Jackie Beste (2003-06). In fact, the 2016-17 season will mark the seventh consecutive year that Nebraska has had at least one Minnesota golfer in its lineup.
Big Red Face Solid Schedule
The Huskers will face another challenging schedule in 2016-17, beginning with the Ptarmigan Ram Classic in Fort Collins, Colo., Sept. 12-13. The Huskers continued the fall at the East & West Match Play Challenge in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sept. 18-20.
Nebraska made its only home appearance of the year at the 2016 Chip-N Club Invitational at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course in Lincoln, Sept. 25-27.
The Huskers returned to Colorado for the Ron Moore Intercollegiate in Denver, Oct. 7-9, before wrapping up the fall portion of the schedule at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown in Boulder City, Nev., Oct. 23-25.
The spring schedule tees off with the Central District Invitational in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Feb. 20-21, before the Huskers return to the Westbrook Spring Invitational in Peoria, Ariz., Feb. 26-27. Three weeks later, Nebraska returns to Arizona for the Clover Cup in Mesa, March 17-19, before concluding the regular season at the Hawkeye El Tigre in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, April 2-4.
NU heads to Maineville, Ohio, to compete at the Big Ten Championships, April 21-23, 2017. The Huskers will compete for the conference crown on the Arnold Palmer-designed Tournament Players Club River’s Bend Course.
Nebraska hopes to contend for its 12th NCAA Regional bid since 1994. NCAA Regional competitions will be held in Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State), Lubbock, Texas (Texas Tech) and Albuquerque, N.M. (New Mexico) May 8-10, before the NCAA Championships are held at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., May 18-24.
Huskers Set Pace in Classroom
Nebraska leads the nation with 69 WGCA Scholastic All-Americans since 1989.
Cassidy Stelzmiller earned the third WGCA Scholastic All-America award of her career in 2016. She also claimed the honor in 2013 and 2015. Stelzmiller, who was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2013 and 2015, joined Haley Thiele in capturing the WGCA Scholastic honor in 2016.
Emily Gillman was a 2015 WGCA Scholastic All-America award winner. Gillman added a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar award in 2016.
Five Husker golfers earned academic All-Big Ten accolades in 2016, including Stelzmiller, Cassie Deeg, Morgan Smejkal, Sarah Pravecek and Audrey Judd.
Overall, Nebraska owns one of the richest academic traditions in all of collegiate sports with a nation-leading 325 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans across all teams and all sports. NU also leads the nation with 17 NCAA Top Ten Award winners.