KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The No. 10-ranked Northeastern State womenâ€™s golf team monopolized the 2016 All-MIAA postseason awards, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association announced Wednesday morning.
Scott Varner was honored as the 2016 MIAA Coach of the Year, while junior Baylee Price was selected as the 2016 MIAA Golfer of the Year. NSU was also the only team in the MIAA to place four golfers on either the first or second team. Joining Price on the first team was true freshman Ebba Moberg, while senior Charter Lawson and true freshman Kelsey Lumpkin were both named to the All-MIAA Second Team.
Varner has led the RiverHawks to one of the most dominant seasons in school history. They have won a school-record five tournaments and have yet to lose to any MIAA team in any event all year. Most recently, Northeastern State lapped the field by 20 strokes en route to the 2016 MIAA Championship, which was the first conference title since 2006. NSU is also rated as the top team in the entire Central Region. The green and white will be the top seed at the 2016 NCAA Central Super Regional, which is set for May 2-4 at Awarii Dunes Golf Club in Axtell, Nebraska.
The honor is the fifth of Varnerâ€™s career and his first as a member of the MIAA. He also becomes the fourth NSU coach to win MIAA Coach of the Year honors, joining Rob Czlonka (menâ€™s soccer), Chase Wooten (womenâ€™s soccer) and Amanda Stone (womenâ€™s tennis).
Price becomes the first NSU womenâ€™s golfer to win player of the year accolades since 2008 (Stephanie Bird). She currently has the 10th best scoring average in all of NCAA Division II (74.57), and she has won three of her last four tournaments. She recently won low medalist honors at the 2016 MIAA Championship by 11 strokes, marking her second-career individual conference title (2014).
She joins an elite club that includes Taylor Lewis (womenâ€™s basketball) and Bo White (menâ€™s soccer) as the only players from Northeastern State to win conference player of the year accolades since the RiverHawks became members of the MIAA (2012-13). She was also named to the All-MIAA First Team for the third-straight year.
Moberg has recorded five top-10 finishes this season and recently placed third at the MIAA Championship. She won the MIAA Fall Preview and finished runner-up at the Western Washington Invitational. Her scoring average of 76.86 ranks inside the top 70 nationally, and she was once selected as the MIAA Golfer of the Week (Oct. 21).
Lawson picked up All-MIAA Second Team accolades for the second-consecutive season. She is rated as the nationâ€™s No. 80-ranked womenâ€™s golfer and has a stroke average of 77.19. She has recorded seven top-15 finishes, which includes a runner-up at the NCAA Division II Spring Preview and a 12th-place effort at the conference tourney. She also finished at 1-under par at the Mustang Intercollegiate to place solo fifth, marking the first time in her career she completed an event under par. For her efforts, she was named the MIAA Womenâ€™s Golfer of the Week (April 6).
Lumpkin currently ranks No. 94 in the nation and has a stroke average of 77.57. She has finished inside the top 20 in six events, with a season-best of fourth at the Western Washington Invitational. She also took sixth at the St. Edwardâ€™s Invitational and placed seventh at the MIAA Championship. She was once named the MIAA Womenâ€™s Golfer of the Week (March 9).
Central Oklahomaâ€™s Marla Souvannasing and Daniela Martinez were repeat first-team selections. Grace Shin also earned second-team honors for the Bronchos, who have had nine top-four finishes in 11 tournament this year. UCO was runner-up in the MIAA Tournament to Northeastern State and will compete in the NCAA Division II Central Regional next week in Axtell, Neb.
Souvannasing carries a 74.43 scoring average and has had nine top-10 finishes in 11 tournaments. The sophomore standout from Tulsa has won four tournaments this year and has eight wins in her two-year career.
Martinez, a senior from Mexicali, Mexico, has finished in the top 10 five times this year and carries a 76.61 scoring average.
Shin, a freshman from Tulsa, has a 77.87 average with four top-10 finishes this year.
2016 MIAA WOMENâ€™S GOLF ALL-CONFERENCE AWARDS
MIAA Golfer of the Year: Baylee Price, Central Oklahoma
MIAA Freshman of the Year: Shi Qing Ong, Missouri Western State
MIAA Coach of the Year: Scott Varner, Northeastern State
2016 ALL-MIAA FIRST TEAM
Baylee Price, Northeastern State
Marla Souvannasing, Central Oklahoma
Shi Qing Ong, Missouri Western State
Daniela Martinez, Central Oklahoma
Ebba Moberg, Northeastern State
2016 ALL-MIAA SECOND TEAM
Charter Lawson, Northeastern State
Madelyn Piccininni, Lindenwood
Grace Shin, Central Oklahoma
Kelsey Lumpkin, Northeastern State
Elizabeth Leath, Central Missouri
Dakota Linkemann, Lindenwood
2016 ALL-MIAA HONORABLE MENTION
Taelyn Entriken, Central Missouri
Yolanda Rotzinger, Lindenwood
Celine Lim, Missouri Western State
Madison Romjue, Missouri Western State
Ana Summers, Nebraska-Kearney
Kaleigh Ashen, Northwest Missouri State