KSU star women's golfer Ha earns medalist honors at Lady Buckeye Invitational

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer

Jennifer Ha wrapped up a win at the Lady Buckeye Invitational on Sunday with a 1-under-par 71, while No. 42 Kent State tied for second place with No. 24 Michigan State at 36-over.

Ha shot opening rounds of 72 and 75 on Saturday before a 71 in the final round clinched the one-stroke victory.

"She played solid all week," KSU coach Greg Robertson said. "I was really happy to see her play that way. She never even wavered; everything was fantastic."

The Golden Flashes finished eight strokes behind event winner and host No. 31 Ohio State after entering the final round with a four-stroke lead.

"I'm happy with the way they played, especially those first two rounds," Robertson said. "I think we beat ourselves with so many bogeys. That hurt us, but they played hard and it's not an easy golf course."

Josée Doyon finished the event 12-over to end in a tie for 10th place. Natalie Goodson was 16-over to tie for 20th, while Erin Hawe shot 17-over and Taylor Kim was 18-over.

The team now heads to the Mid-American Conference Championships this weekend in Fishers, Indiana. The Flashes have won all 15 MAC women's golf titles, while Ha is the defending MAC tourney champion.

ACADEMICS

A record turnout of over 500 gathered at the Kent State University Student Center Ballroom on April 13 for the 31st annual Judith K. Devine Athletic Academic Honors Banquet. 

A total of 241 student-athletes, athletic trainers and cheerleaders were recognized for academic excellence. Fifty-two student-athletes, including 10 freshmen, were honored for earning a perfect 4.0 grade point average during either the spring or fall semesters of the 2013 calendar year. Academic Athletic Excellence Awards went to 231 sophomores, juniors and seniors with a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average.

Individually, Hannah Herc of the volleyball team was the Judith K. Devine Leadership Award honoree. The award is presented to a student-athlete who exhibits outstanding leadership in all facets of life. 

Corey Conners (men's golf) earned the Merle Wagoner Award, given to the Kent State male senior student-athlete that best exemplifies athletic, academic and leadership achievement.

The Janet Bachna Award, which is presented to the Kent State senior female student-athlete who displays athletic, academic and leadership excellence, was awarded to Marie Case (gymnastics). 

Maddy Mullins (women's golf) received the Lou Holtz Scholarship for the freshman with the highest GPA (4.0) while taking the most credit hours. Brandon Taylor of the wrestling team earned the Karl Chesnutt Scholarship, while field hockey's Sami Surdy earned the Robert C. Dix Scholarship.

The Kennedy Award went to the women's track & field team, after winning outdoor and indoor MAC championships.

Soccer's Katherine Lawrence was chosen as the senior speaker for the event. Lawrence served as vice president of the student-athlete advisory committee.

Seventy-five student-athletes were also recognized for earning either the MAC Commissioner's or Presidential Award (cumulative GPA over 3.5).

CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District winners were honored, including Academic All-Americans Jessacca Gironda and Jordan Italiano. Gironda is the only student-athlete in MAC history to earn Academic All-America honors in two sports (soccer, softball), while Italiano was one of just two sophomores in the nation to earn a spot on the Division I Academic All-America Football Team.

The event is named for Judy Devine, who is considered the matriarch of Kent State athletics. Devine served the athletic department for 31 years in various administrative, academic and coaching roles.

 

MEN'S GOLF

Kent State moved up three spots on the the leaderboard during Sunday's final round of the Boilermaker Invitational to finish in eighth place.

Senior Taylor Pendrith led the day for the Flashes with a 2-under-par 70 on the 7,259-yard Kampen Course to capture his third consecutive top-10 in the event. At even par for the week, Pendrith (73-73-70-216) placed solo ninth. 

The 32nd-ranked Flashes shot a 3-over-par total as a team on Sunday to close the weekend with a 25-over-par total of 889 that was 24 shots behind champion Iowa. The No. 41 Hawkeyes battled back with a brilliant 14-under-par day of 274 to eclipse runner-up Illinois by just one shot. 

Kent State's day included an impressive even-par round of 72 by freshman Josh Whalen, who tied for 34th individually at 7-over for the weekend. Corey Conners closed with a 73 to finish in a tie for 16th place at 4-over.

The Flashes return to Indiana May 2-4, when they will try to defend as MAC champions at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, Ind.

Sebastian Bendsen's first top 10 as an individual at Kent State led the Flashes in a seventh-place team finish at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate last weekend.

The sophomore from Denmark followed his 2-under-par first day of 71-69 by shooting a 5-over-par 76 through high winds on Sunday at The Ohio State University Golf Club's Scarlet Course to finish in a five-way tie for fifth place.

Kent State struggled to a final round 19-over-par 303 to post a 34-over total for the weekend that was 28 shots behind Kepler champion Georgia Tech.

Senior Taylor Pendrith led KSU in the final round with a 74, and his 7-over-par total for the weekend put him in a tie for 17th place. Senior Kyle Kmieck's final round 77 put him in a tie for 34th at 13-over-par, while fellow senior Corey Conners finished at 14-over for a 41st-place tie.

VOLLEYBALL

Amber Gerdeman, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker, has joined coach Don Gromala's KSU squad.

Gerdeman was a four-year letterwinner at Leipsic High School in Ohio. She shared Putnam County League Player of the Year honors as a junior and was named all-district and all-conference following her junior and senior seasons. Gerdeman is on track to graduate in the top 10 of her class and is also vice president of her senior class.

TRACK AND FIELD

Kent State junior Matthias Tayala broke the school record in the hammer throw Saturday at the Jesse Owens Classic in Columbus.

Tayala's heave of 235-1 was good for third place overall.

Jailyn Twitty took first in the triple jump with a mark of 49-0.75. In the 200-meter dash Riak Reese took first with a personal-best time of 20.73, while William Barnes was third in 21.20 -- also a personal best. Barnes also placed second in the 110-meter hurdles (14.14).

Matthew Tobin won the 400 meters in 47.72, while teammates Miles Dunlap was third (personal-best 48.04). Jesse Oxley was runner-up in the pole vault (17-0.75), and Reggie Jagers set a new personal best in the discus with a heave of 184-10 that was also good for second place.

The 4x100-meter relay squad of Nate Scales, Reese, Barnes and Wayne Gordon took second with a time of 40.46.

On the women's side, senior Ann Marie Duffus placed second in the long jump with a leap of 19-7.

Danniel Thomas (52-4.75) and Joh'Vonnie Mosley (50-0.75) took second and third, respectively, in the shot put, while Thomas won the discus with a toss of 184-5.

Kent State junior Ann Marie Duffus and sophomore Wayne Gordon were both named MAC Track Athlete of the Week after their performances at the Tennessee Relays, held April 11-12.

Duffus took first in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.49, a personal-best that ranks first in the MAC. She also placed fourth in the long jump with a mark of 19-8.75, which ranks second in the conference.

Gordon finished second in the 200-meter dash at the relays with a time of 20.57. He is currently sitting in first in the MAC, seventh in the NCAA East Region and 14th overall in the NCAA. Gordon also anchored the 4x100-meter relay squad that took first at the relays in 40.33, which is second in the MAC.

GYMNASTICS

Kent State senior Marie Case capped a stellar collegiate career with a 13th-place finish in the all-around at the NCAA National Championships on Friday in Birmingham, Ala.

"We are incredibly proud of Marie and how she performed," said KSU coach Brice Biggin. "She has been a true inspiration to our program, and will go down as our top scoring gymnast in Kent State history."

Case is Kent State's all time points leader with a career total of 1,808.125, and her 13th place finish in the all-around at the NCAA National Championships is the highest finish for an individual in Kent State history.

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