UNI Women’s Golf takes a runner-up streak to the MVC Championships

UNI Women’s Golf at MVC Championships

  • April 16 – Practice Rounds
  • April 17 – Tee Times, begin at 10 am CT (all teams off No. 1)
  • April 18 – Tee Times, begin at 8 am CT (all teams off No. 1)
  • April 19 – Tee Times, begin at 8 am CT (split tees)

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The UNI Women’s golf team competes for an MVC title starting Sunday.

The 2022 Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Golf Championship is set for April 17-19. Teams will play 54 holes over three days at the par-71, 5,830-yard Greenbriar Hills Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri.

UNI is led by senior Hannah Bermel. She leads the team with an average of 76.30. Had a career low of 69 in her second round at the Jackrabbit Invitational this spring, and she’s been the team’s top individual performer in six of eight events this year. Bermel has earned three First Team MVC honors in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Anna Jensen earned MVC Golfer of the Week for her performance at the Indiana State Invitational. She carded a 78 and 73 (151) in the two-round event to tie for second place. She carded a low of 71 in the third round of the opening tournament at the ISU Redbird Invitational.

Last year at the MVC Championships, UNI was picked fourth in the preseason poll and were defeated by Evansville in a Sudden death playoff. The second-place finish was the third consecutive runner-up Honor for UNI. John Bermel was named co-Coach of the year. Emily Snelling and Hannah Bermel earned all-conference honors finishing in a tie for second and fourth, respectively.

PRESEASON POLL

  1. Missouri State
  2. Illinois State
  3. Bradley
  4. SLEEP
  5. Southern Illinois
  6. Drake
  7. Loyola
  8. Indiana State
  9. Evansville
  10. Valparaiso

UNI AT THE MVC CHAMPIONSHIPS

Since Coach Bermel took over the Women’s golf program in 2002, the Panthers have finished in the top half of the Championships 13 times. The 2020 Championship was canceled for COVID-19. UNI has finished second three consecutive years, the highest place of any Panther team.

AROUND THE CONFERENCE

Missouri State entered the spring season as the coaches top choice, and the Bears enter the Championship as the top-rated MVC program in GolfStat. Missouri State has one regular-season Championship to its credit. Illinois State is closely behind in the team rankings. The Redbirds had two titles this season, and were the second choice of coaches in the pre-season February poll.
Missouri State is led by senior Abby Cavaiani. She leads the MVC in scoring average at 74.07. Cavaiani carded seven sub-par rounds out of 27 total rounds this year, while 19 of her 27 rounds were 75 or better. She had a career-low round of 68 at the Rio Verde Invitational, and in Wales, Wisconsin, a native was a medalist at the MSU / Payne Stewart Memorial for the second-straight year. Sophomore Kayla Pfitzner ranked fifth in the Valley with a 75.78 scoring average, and she recorded a pair of top-five finishes in 2021-22.

Ali Schrock of the Illinois State leads the Redbirds in scoring average, at 74.7 strokes per round, which is the third-lowest scoring average in program history, and the 10th-lowest in MVC history. She earned medalist honors at the 2022 Redbird Spring Invitational, leading the field by three strokes, and Schrock has four top-10 finishes on the season. Meanwhile, Avalon Woodward sports the team’s second-lowest scoring average at 75.6 strokes per round, which is the fifth-lowest single-season scoring average in program history. Her top finish came at the Rio Verde Invitational where she tied for the third of 92 Golfers, while also finishing fourth at the Redbird Spring Invitational.

Haeri Lee of Drake also had one of the league’s best individual performances during the 2021-22 campaign. She leads the team this spring with a 75.5 stroke average per round. Lee’s stroke average for the season Ranks third-best in the MVC (75.1). Her teammate senior Kristen Giles ranked 13th-best in the MVC in the full-season stroke average at 76.78 through 23 rounds.

Bradley’s most experienced player on the 2021-22 roster is Megan Welch. She is second on the team and 10th in the MVC with a career-best 76.23 stroke average. She owns a team-best three top-10 finishes and has placed in the top 20 in four outings. One of the league’s top newcomers is Maria Perakis of Bradley. The freshman leads Bradley in a stroke average at 76.08, ranking eighth in the MVC. Perakis was Bradley’s top finisher in six of nine events, and she owns the top stroke average among true freshman in the MVC.

Abby Thielbar of Loyola holds a team-low 76.0 stroke average across 25 rounds of play in 2021-22, while her stroke average ranks sixth overall in the MVC. This year, 23 of her 25 rounds have been in the 70s, with four at or under par. She set program records for low 18-hole (66) and 54-hole (66-73-76 = 215) scores at the FAU Paradise Invitational.

Lauren Green of Indiana State paced ISU despite battling injuries. She competed in all 10 tournaments (26 rounds) for ISU while posting a team-best 76.27 stroke average which ranks 12th in the MVC. Green recorded back-to-back MVC Golfer of the Week honors in the fall after finishing third at the APSU Intercollegiate before shooting a career-low round score of 70 in the final round of the Butler Invitational to finish fifth.

Moyea Russell of Southern Illinois enters the MVC Championship with Southern Illinois’ best stroke average during the 2021-22 season, 78.58 through 26 rounds. She has had 15 rounds in the 70s this season. Russell’s low round of the season (69) came at the Redbird Spring Invitational where she tied for sixth place, her best finish of the season.
The Defending Champion Purple Aces of Evansville are led by Mallory Russell. She leads the UE with a 78.81 stroke average Entering the MVC Championship. The sophomore excelled in the fall, averaging 77.20 strokes over the course of her 10 rounds. Her top finish of the season was a tie for the sixth at the Briar Ridge Invitational in September, and she finished in the top 25 in seven out of her nine events this season.

Valparaiso’s Payton Hodson was recognized in this week’s MVC Scholar-Athlete Spotlight and holds the team’s top stroke average this year at 80.87. She was the team’s top individual finisher in two tournaments during 2021-22.

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