BUENA VISTA, Va. — The Southern Virginia University men's and women's golf teams are each coming off strong seasons in 2019–20, and both are in position to continue that success for the 2020–21 season.
"Going into our fourth year as a program, this is the deepest that both the men's and women's teams have been," said Head Coach Blair Garner, who leads both squads. "I'm confident that both teams will be able to improve our national ranking when we resume competition, and we should have some players break into the national rankings as well."
The men's team will be led by senior Niko Vui, who has proven that he can compete for the individual title of any tournament in which the Knights play. Jake Hanchett, Cameron Berthold, Jarrett Fultz, and Matt Roll have all improved in the offseason and will compete to be in the Knights' top five. Adam Peterson and Benton Knight have also shown vast improvements in their game.
Freshman Nathan Preslar, a 3A high school state champion in Utah, is a player to watch as he has the ability to crack the top five for Southern Virginia. Newcomers Bud Oettli and Cogan Hill show lots of promise, as do Paul Feyereisen, Josh Jennings, and Nick Baker.
On the women's side, most of the team returns from last year, including sophomore Shelby VanAusdal, who set the program's individual record last year, junior Bailee Wright, who won her first tournament last spring, and sophomore Rosie Oettli, who has been playing extremely well this fall.
Also returning are Brinley Pulsipher, a founding member of the Southern Virginia golf program who is back from her mission in Samoa, and Bailey Pfunder, who will graduate as the program's first four-year player. Seniors Lindsey Nadig and Cori Rhodes, who have also helped pioneer the women's golf team, will continue to provide great leadership this season.
Freshman Maybel Harris joins the team as an excellent player who will look to crack the top five for the Knights. Avalon Green, Kora Bloxham, and Ellie Lamb are also freshmen that have shown tremendous promise, and Tia Vui and Christiane Fultz are solid players who will be joining their brothers on the men's team.
Although Southern Virginia's fall season has been canceled due to COVID-19, the Knights have been practicing consistently with the spring season rapidly approaching.
"We have been having an intra-squad match play tournament to allow our players a chance to compete this fall," said Garner. "The silver lining in this delay of competition is that we've had a chance to refine our skills and experience to help us with the ups and downs of competition. We're excited for the future."