WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. – Nina Puch earned medalist honors and was named Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Player of the Year on Monday, while Concordia University Wisconsin's quest for a third-straight NACC Championship fell short by two strokes at Trappers Turn Golf Club.
Puch led wire-to-wire during the three-day tournament to win by 10 strokes after shooting a 249 total (82-83-84). It was the second-consecutive medalist and subsequent NACC Player of the Year award for the junior who became just the second player in league history to win the accolades multiple times.
CUW's opportunity to win a third-straight title fell short by just two strokes after Aurora University charged back after being down 17 strokes after the opening round and five shots after 36 holes of play to shock the Falcons.
CUW shot a three-day total of 1,102 (359-376-367) and it had all five golfers finish in the top 19 places – the only school to accomplish that feat. The Falcons have won or finished in second place in six of the nine years of the NACC Championship.
Puch (junior, Des Plaines, Ill.) was just one of two players to fire all three rounds in the 80s, as she ended 10 strokes better than Megan Kelly (Marian University) who finished in second place. The Falcons scoring leader finished with three birdies and a tournament-best 25 pars. She also led all golfers in scoring average on par 4s (4.57) and par 5s (5.42).
Junior Lexi Westphal (Brownsville, Wis.) tied for 13th place after shooting a 285 total (93-92-100). She ended with 12 pars for the tournament and had back-to-back pars the seventh and eighth holes during her final round.
Sophomore Bridget Slater (Roseau, Minn.) had a 287 three-day total (91-96-100) to take 15th place in her first NACC Championship. She holed a pair of birdies and had the seventh-best scoring average on par 5s (6.00). Slater vaulted up the leaderboard on Monday with birdies on back-to-back holes (11th and 12th).
Sophomore Megan Reddersdorf (Marengo, Ill.) took 18th after shooting a 290 total (98-102-90), which included a birdie and 11 pars. Her 12-stroke difference from the second and third round was the largest improvement from round-to-round by any Falcon in the lineup. Reddersdorf's third-round score of 90 (42 on the back nine) was a career-low and included her only birdie (10th hole) and three pars.
Freshman Haley Olkiewicz (Oshkosh, Wis.) placed in a tie for 19th after firing a 291 aggregate score (93-101-97). The rookie had one birdie and 12 pars, including four in the final round. She posted a nine-hole low of 44 on the front nine of Monday's round.
CUW will have time off until the spring portion of their season begins. Visit CUWFalcons.com for schedule changes as the Wisconsin spring weather hopefully plays in their favor.