HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla—The 2014-15 Horizon League Men’s and Women’s Golf awards were announced Thursday night at the annual team banquet held on the eve of the championship.
Oakland’s Elle Nichols became the first player in Horizon League women’s or men’s history to be named the Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in the same season. The Okemos, Mich., native led the Horizon League in the regular season with a 76.64 stroke average on the year. In 10 tournaments this season, Nichols has finished in the top-10 five times. She won the Golden Grizzlies Invitational back in September and also recorded second-place finishes in the Dayton Fall Invitational and the IPFW Spring Classic.
Joining Nichols on the All-League team were Alyssa Albright (Oakland), Emily Dixon (Youngstown State), Allyson Hackman (Cleveland State), Kelsey Jensen (UIC), Avery Steen (Green Bay) and Sarah Thompson (Detroit).
It is the second All-League honor for Hackman, who was also on the All-League team last year, while the rest of the players are making their first appearance on the All-League team.
Wright State junior Nick Scott was named the Men’s Player of the Year. The Union, Ohio native led the Horizon League with a 72.29 average this season. Scott has won two tournaments this season and finished in the top-10 in three additional. He won the Cleveland State Invitational last September and won the Wright State Invitational three weeks ago.
Scott is joined on the All-League team by Michael Balcar (Cleveland State), Evan Bowser (Oakland), Kyle Gaines (Detroit), Brandon Pluchinsky (Youngstown State), Nick Seitz (Valparaiso), Peter Webb (Valparaiso), Ryan Wenzler (Wright State) and Wil Wittmann (Detroit).
Balcar is on the All-League team for the third time in his career, while Boswer and Wittmann are both making their second appearance on the team.
Carol Rhoades of UIC was voted as the Women’s Coach of the Year, while David Gring is the Men’s Coach of the Year. It’s the first Coach of the Year nod for Rhoades, who is guiding the Flames in just their third year in existence, while it’s Gring second time being honored as Coach of the Year. The Valpo coach also won the award in 2013.
The 2015 Horizon League Men’s and Women’s Championship begins tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. The three-day 54-hole event concludes on Sunday. There will be live scoring at golfstat.com.
2015 Horizon League Golf Awards
Alyssa Albright, Oakland
Emily Dixon, Youngstown State
Allyson Hackman, Cleveland State
Kelsey Jensen, UIC
Elle Nichols, Oakland
Avery Steen, Green Bay
Sarah Thompson, Detroit
Women’s Freshman of the Year: Elle Nichols, Oakland
Women’s Player of the Year: Elle Nichols, Oakland
Women’s Coach of the Year: Carol Rhoades, UIC
Men’s All-League (Ties are not broken)
Michael Balcar, Cleveland State
Evan Boswer, Oakland
Kyle Gaines, Detroit
Brandon Pluchinsky, Youngstown State
Nick Scott, Wright State
Nick Seitz, Valparaiso
Peter Webb, Valparaiso
Ryan Wenzler, Wright State
Wil Wittmann, Detroit
Men’s Freshman of the Year: Jake Kneen, Oakland
Men’s Player of the Year: Nick Scott, Wright State
Men’s Coach of the Year: David Gring, Valparaiso