Trio of Rebels Earn Mountain West Honors|
April 27, 2017
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Women's Golf saw three Rebels - Alexandra Kaui, Mackenzie Raim and Elizabeth Prior - named to the 2017 Mountain West All-Conference teams, announced by the conference office Thursday afternoon. Kaui garnered her first-ever first team selection after being named to the second team a year ago while Raim earned first team honors for the second consecutive year. This is the first career all league honor for Prior, who was tabbed a second team selection.
"I'm extremely proud of these three," said head coach Amy Bush-Herzer. "Each of them went through a bit of adversity this year and came back stronger from it. They work really hard and are playing great golf right now. The honors are much deserved."
Kaui, a senior and Las Vegas native, currently ranks fourth in the Mountain West with a 73.41 scoring average and 1.52 score against par. She owns the seventh (73.41) and eighth-best (73.61) single-season scoring averages in program history. Kaui became just the fifth Rebel to earn medalist honors at the Mountain West Championship when she won the 2016 conference tournament by five strokes - the largest margin of victory in tournament history. She was named to the MW Second Team after the performance. At this year's championship, Kaui finished in a tie for sixth after shooting even over 54 holes. Her season-low round of 69 came in the final round of the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown, helping propel the Rebels to a second place finish at their home tournament. Overall, she has shot eight rounds at or under par and recorded two top six finishes and four top-15 finishes in her final collegiate season.
Raim, a junior from Palm Desert, Calif., became the sixth player in program history to earn first team honors twice or more during their UNLV careers and the first since former Rebel All-American Dana Finkelstein earned the nod three straight years from 2013-15. Raim has spent the majority of the year ranked in the top five in the conference and is currently in third with a 73.07 scoring average and 1.19 score against par. Her scoring average this year is also fifth all time for a single season. After several top-20 finishes throughout her career, Raim broke through with her first collegiate tournament win in February at the prestigious Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif., where she shot a 4-under with rounds of 72, 68 and 69 to finish tied for first. Three weeks later, Raim picked up her second tournament win with three rounds all under par at the Battle at Boulder Creek. On the year, Raim recorded four top-20 finishes, including the two victories, and shot 12 rounds at par or better.
Prior, a Surrey, England, native, has been consistent in her sophomore campaign, ranking in the top 10 in the conference for most of the season. She saved her best golf for the Mountain West Championship as she was UNLV's top performer at the event, finishing in a tie for fourth after shooting 2-under for the tournament - her best three-round score of the year. She also matched her season low score of 70 in the second round at the league championship, a mark she recorded two other times earlier in the season. The performance moved her up to fifth in the league in scoring average at 73.44 with a 1.56 score against par. Prior has turned in four top-15 and seven top-30 finishes in her second season as a Rebel while she carded nine rounds at par or better.
Coming off their second consecutive Mountain West Championship, the Rebels will be making their 15th straight NCAA regional appearance as they will compete in the Lubbock Regional at The Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas, May 8-10. Lubbock is one of four regional host sites this spring and will feature 18 teams and six additional individuals. The Rebels are the 11 seed in the region, which has Pac-12 Champion UCLA as its top seed and is hosted by Texas Tech.
The full Mountain West All-Conference Teams and individual award winners are below:
Sirene Blair, Sr., San Diego State
Georgia Lacey, Jr., San Diego State
My Leander, Sr., San José State
Alexandra Kaui, Sr., UNLV
Mackenzie Raim, Jr., UNLV
Katrina Prendergast, So., Colorado State
Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir, Sr., Fresno State
Fernanda Escauriza, Fr., San Diego State
Abegail Arevalo, So., San José State
Elizabeth Prior, So., UNLV
Golfer of the Year: My Leander, Sr., San José State
Freshman of the Year: Fernanda Escauriza, San Diego State
Coach of the Year: John Dormann, San José State