July 11, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina landed a Southern Conference-best five women's golfers on the 2011-12 National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-American Scholar teams released on July 6. It is the 12th-straight year WCU has put golfers among the annual honorees with the five representing the most in program history.
WCU's trio of seniors in Christina Amoriello, Blaire Minter and Rachel Nelson were joined by first-year golfers Katie Kile and Maria Kjelldorff on the combined list of 585 women's collegiate golfers representing the NCAA Division I, II and III levels. The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative grade point average is a 3.50.
Seven SoCon schools put golfers on the honorary list including two apiece from Elon, UNCG, Chattanooga and Wofford, while Appalachian State and Furman both had one selection. WCU was one of 13 NCAA Division I programs with five-or-more selections.
"The women's golf team at Western Carolina has had a long-standing tradition of academic excellence. Our student-athletes are extremely focused when it comes to their studies," said head coach Mallory Hetzel. "Having five NGCA All American Scholars in one year is almost unheard of in women's golf. It was nice to see our seniors end their careers with a well deserved award and equally impressive to see our freshman contribute to our academic success."
Hetzel added, "In addition to the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes, we can certainly give credit to Tony and Lynne Zande. The new team van gave our student-athletes more opportunities to study in a comfortable environment and complete assignments while on the road traveling to and from events. Also, a big `thank you' is due to our faculty and staff. They have consistently been understanding of our travel schedule and are always willing to work with our players to be sure they stay on track. We look forward to even more academic success for years to come."
Nelson earned the prestigious honor for the fourth time during her collegiate career joining former Catamounts Brandy Andersen (2002-06) and Bianca Melone (2003-07) to have collected the recognition all four years. Nelson boasted a cumulative GPA of 3.78, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in nutrition & dietetics.
Minter collected the third NGCA All-American Scholar of her four-year career, receiving a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a 3.61 cumulative GPA. Classmate Christina Amoriello finished with a Bachelor of Science degree in communication with a 3.88 overall GPA.
Freshmen Katie Kile held a grade point average of 3.76 in pre-nursing while Maria Kjelldorff holds a perfect 4.0 in electrical engineering.
All six of WCU's team members in 2011-12 were named to the SoCon Honor Roll, with all eligible players - the three seniors - placed on the Spring Academic All-Southern Conference squad.
WCU's All-Time NGCA All-American Scholars
2000-01: Shelley Glenister
2001-02: Brooke Stillman
2002-03: Line Cordes, Ashley Hovda, Johanna Lundberg, Brandy Andersen
2003-04: Brandy Andersen, Erika Danford, Ashley Hovda, Bianca Melone
2004-05: Brandy Andersen, Bianca Melone
2005-06: Brandy Andersen, Erika Danford. Malin Fryk, Bianca Melone
2006-07: Bianca Melone, Malin Fryk, Elin Mickelsson
2007-08: Katja Dammann, Elin Mickelsson
2008-09: Elin Mickelsson, Rachel Nelson
2009-10: Malin Jansson, Blaire Minter, Rachel Nelson
2010-11: Malin Jansson, Blaire Minter, Rachel Nelson
2011-12: Christina Amoriello, Katie Kile, Maria Kjelldorff, Blaire Minter, Rachel Nelson