La Verne golf team wins SCIAC, advances to nationals

For the second year in a row, the University of La Verne golf team finished the conference schedule undefeated en route to claiming a SCIAC Championship.

This year, the Leopards put an exclamation point on the SCIAC title with a dazzling performance of 559 (284-275) at the SCIAC 36-Hole Championship Monday at Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills to outdistance second-place Redlands (573) by 14 strokes.

Prior to 2007, no SCIAC golf team had ever finished an entire season undefeated in league competition.

La Verne had five of its golfers finish in the top seven in the individual standings. Sophomore Andrew Kramer paced ULV with a second-pace effort of 138 (70-68). Senior Jordan Talah placed fourth overall at 141 (73-68) with senior Chris Davis placing fifth at 142 (71-71). Junior Rizal Amin earned a sixth-place finish carding a 143 (73-70) over 36 holes while freshman Kevin Smith finished tied for seventh at 144 (76-68).

Redlands golfer EJ Stenftenagle took first place in the individual standings at 136 (70-66).

Under head coach Rex Huigens, the Leopard squad racked up several conference honors following the 36-hole competition. Amin was named Co-Player of the Year while Smith earned Freshman of the Year honors.

ULV dominated the First-Team SCIAC selections with four spots. The quartet included Davis, Talah, Kramer and Mitchell Fedorka. Smith earned a spot on the Second Team.

Amin also was the co-winner of the Jess Clark Sportsmanship Award.

As the SCIAC Champion, La Verne secures an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, held next month at Chateau Elan Resort in Braselton, GA. The Leopards are ranked sixth nationally in Division III.