A historic golf season continues to get sweeter for the Sam Houston women. A day after learning their first-ever NCAA Regional destination, the Kats had a major haul in the Southland Conference Awards.
Sam Houston took home three of the league’s top four honors with Hanna Alberto leading the way as the Southland Conference Golfer of the Year. Kenlie Barrett, who won the Southland Individual Medalist honor, was recognized as the Freshman of the Year and Brandt Kieschnick was named Coach of the Year.
“This is such a huge honor for our program and I am so proud that both of those girls get the recognition they deserve,” Kieschnick said. “They have worked so hard this year and it showed on the course.”
In addition to the player of the year awards, both were recognized as All-Southland first-team selections along with teammate Jenna Phillips who was tabbed on the second team.
“To have three of the 10 players on the All-Southland team really says something about the group of girls we have,” Kieschnick said. “All three of them won tournaments this year, which has only happened one other time that we’ve had three individual winners in the same season.”
Alberto had a record breaking year for the Bearkats, winning four tournament titles, breaking the single season mark set by Shelby Hardy in 2013. Those wins also brought her career victory total to seven, which is also a school record.
Alberto, who finished third at the Southland Championship, notched wins at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational, the Texas State Invitational, the UNF Collegiate and the HBU Husky Invitational. Her 72.03 scoring average this season is the lowest in school history, bettering her mark of 72.73 last season.
This year, Alberto was also selected to play in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Invitational.
Barrett had her breakout moment of the season at exactly the right time. The freshman out of The Woodlands saved her best for the last, winning the Southland Conference Individual title by two shots. She’s the first Sam Houston freshman to win the individual medalist at the SLC Championship.
This season Barrett has recorded a stroke average of 75.94, and in addition to her Southland Championship, posted two other top-10 finishes on the season. Her low round of the year, a 69, came on the final day of the Southland Championship at High Meadow Ranch in Magnolia.
Phillips, a senior out of Austin, posted her best season as a Bearkat. She won the ORU Lady Maxwell and the UT Arlington Invitational in the first half of the season, giving her three career victories. Her stroke average of 74.29 was nearly a stroke lower than last season. She posted a total of seven top-10 finishes this season.
The season is not over for the Bearkats. They will play in the NCAA Regionals May 6-8 at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Oklahoma.