Vikings' Kristen Hansen named GNAC Player of the Year

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Kristen Hansen
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Kristen Hansen
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

April 25, 2014

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University's Kristen Hansen (So., Spokane/Mead) has been named the 2014 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women's Golf Player of the Year in an announcement Friday by the conference office.

Receiving Coach of the Year honors for the third time in four seasons was the Vikings' Bo Stephan.

Hansen, who was the GNAC Freshman of the Year last year, was a first-team GNAC all-star selection for the second straight season. She led the GNAC with a 77.5 scoring average, finishing among the top 10 in six of nine tournaments, and placed third at the conference tournament.

Anna Bourland (Jr., Bainbridge) was the GNAC medalist in leading WWU to a third straight conference title. Also a first-team conference all-star for the second time, she ranked third among GNAC scoring leaders at 78.9.

In all, the Vikings had three first-team all-stars. Rounding out the trio was Brooke Branigan (Fr., Bellingham), who placed second at the GNAC Tournament.

WWU's Audrey Orem (Fr., Bellingham) was a second-team all-conference pick.

Northwest Nazarene's Samantha Miller was the GNAC Freshman of the Year and Saint Martin's Jennifer Liedes was voted the GNAC Newcomer of the Year.

Great Northwest Athletic Conference

Hansen Tabbed as Women's Golfer of the Year

PORTLAND, Ore. - The top three finishers at the 2013-14 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women's Golf Championships, all from Western Washington, were named to the first team all-conference with sophomore Kristen Hansen getting the nod as GNAC Golfer of the Year.

Hansen topped the GNAC with a scoring average of 77.5, finishing in the top-10 in seven of the nine events she competed in this year. Hansen, the 2012-13 GNAC Freshman of the Year, shot a third-place 160 (79-81) at the GNAC Championships earlier this week to help WWU to its third consecutive GNAC team title.

Joining Hansen on the first team were GNAC Championships medalist Anna Bourland, and tournament runner-up Brooke Branigan.

Bourland averaged a GNAC third-best 78.9 strokes per round, and won the conference tournament at the Coeur d'Alene Resort with a two-round total of 156 (78-78).

Branigan placed second at the GNAC Championships, three strokes back of Bourland with a 159 (80-79).

Also earning first team all-conference honors were Jennifer Liedes and Mandy Wittmier of Saint Martin's, and Samantha Miller of Northwest Nazarene.

In her first season in the conference after transferring from the University of Washington, Liedes was named GNAC Newcomer of the Year after posting the second-lowest average in the conference at 78.6.

Wittmier, a senior, was No. 4 in the GNAC in scoring average this season, with a mark of 80.2. She tied Liedes for fifth place at the GNAC Championships, as both players shot a 163 to help SMU to a third-place finish.

Miller, who was named Freshman of the Year, logged a scoring average of 80.6 in her first collegiate season and finished in the top-10 seven times. Miller was the Crusaders' top golfer at the conference tournament, tying for ninth place with a score of 166 (82-84).

Piloting Western Washington to the GNAC title each year since the tournament began during the 2011-12 season, Bo Stephan was voted as the GNAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.

Four golfers from Montana State Billings earned second team honors, as the Yellowjackets finished second behind the Vikings at the GNAC Championships. Capri Ingram, who finished fourth at the conference tournament with a score of 162 (82-80), was joined by teammates Katie Fish, Melissa Saken, and BreAnna Cameron on the all-conference second team.

WWU's Audrey Orem and SMU's Sarah Salvatori were named second team all-conference honorees as well.

2013-14 GNAC Women's Golf All-Conference Team

First Team: Kristen Hansen, Western Washington (So., Spokane, WA - Mead); Jennifer Liedes, Saint Martin's (So., Olympia, WA - Olympia); Anna Bourland, Western Washington (Jr., Bainbridge, WA - Bainbridge); Mandy Wittmier, Saint Martin's (Sr., Ferndale, WA - Ferndale); Samantha Miller, Northwest Nazarene (Fr., Hillsboro, OR - Liberty); Brooke Branigan, Western Washington (Fr., Bellingham, WA - Bellingham).

Second Team: Katie Fish, Montana State Billings (Jr., Great Falls, MT - Charles M. Russell); Capri Ingram, Montana State Billings (Sr., Livingston, MT - Park Senior); Audrey Orem, Western Washington (Fr., Bellingham, WA - Bellingham); Melissa Saken, Montana State Billings (Sr., Peers, AB - Parkland Composite); Sarah Salvatori, Saint Martin's (So., Salem, OR - Sprague); BreAnna Cameron, Montana State Billings (Sr., Whitefish, MT - Whitefish).

Player of the Year: Kristen Hansen, Western Washington (So., Spokane, WA - Mead)

Freshman of the Year: Samantha Miller, Northwest Nazarene (Fr., Hillsboro, OR - Liberty)

Newcomer of the Year: Jennifer Liedes, Saint Martin's (So., Olympia, WA - Olympia)

Coach of the Year: Bo Stephan, Western Washington