Story and Pictures courtesy of the University of Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville women’s golf head coach Courtney Trimble announced that six highly touted student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Cardinals, beginning in the fall of 2015.
Comprised of national-level players from six states and “the largest” class Trimble said she has put together as a head coach, it consists of Olivia Cason (Owensboro, Ky.), Ellen Kehoe (Campbellsville, Ky.), Lexie Long (Dublin, Ohio), Meredith Moir (Louisville, Ky.), Meghan Nay (Canton, Ga.), and Jacqueline Twitty (Chapin, S.C.).
Louisville, which won two titles during the fall campaign and finished fourth at the Mercedes-Benz Championship to close the season, is ranked as high as No. 22 in the national polls.
“Because we’re graduating so many players, we want to continue to add depth to our team,” Trimble said. “Several of them are incredible athletes, and they have played other sports, as well as really competed at a high level in golf. The competitiveness in the group will continue to add value to what we’ve been growing the last two years.
“We really like to recruit players who have a background in other team sports because golf in a college is played as a team sport. We feel like that is something that has made us successful at this level, having true team players that can compete at a high level, that are competitive, that want to win, and are driven by that team aspect.”
Louisville native Meredith Moir comes from a family of Cardinals’ athletes and has compiled a successful prep career at Sacred Heart Academy.
She has led the Valkyries to three regional championships and four KHSAA state championships. In 2014, she placed second at the regional championship with an even-par 72. That summer, Moir took third in the PGA Junior Series in Marion, Ill., and fifth at the PGA Junior Series in Columbia, S.C. She logged two wins in two different tournaments: the Plantation Tour and the Hurricane Junior Tour. Moir is a two-time member of the KHSAA all-region team and captured second team all-state honors in 2014.
In addition to golf, Moir plays basketball for Sacred Heart, where she has helped her team a seventh region title.
Her father, Rick, lettered in swimming and diving at UofL in 1981, and her grandfather, Robert Bender, played football and baseball for the Cardinals from 1951-53. He is a member of the UofL Athletics Hall of Fame for football. Her mother, formerly Donna Bender, played basketball for Cincinnati.
Head Coach Courtney Trimble on Moir:
“She’s been on championship teams, which we really like that about her. They’ve won I think four years in a row. She has two other sisters who played collegiate golf. She comes from an extremely competitive family – she’s playing on the basketball team now. She’s another one of those kids who is a late bloomer but has all the traits we love in a player – super strong athlete and wants to be a part of a winning team.”
Olivia Cason, the 2014 regional golf player of the year, is a three-time member on the all-region team. She has placed in the top five in the regional championships the last three years, while guiding Owensboro Catholic’s team to the championship in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Playing at the state championship, she tied for 10th in 2012 and 12th in 2014.
In American Junior Golf Association tournaments during the summer, she placed in the top 10 on four occasions, twice in the top three. Her success hasn’t been limited to AJGA events either. She won the Big I National Qualifier during the year.
A four-sport athlete, she also competes on the cross country, track and field, and basketball teams. She was awarded second team all-state in cross country in 2010-11 and finished third at the state meet in the 3,200m that year.
Academically, she has earned first team all-state four times and is the vice president for the National Honor Society.
Head Coach Courtney Trimble on Cason:
“I think competing in cross country and track helps in having endurance – when we’re playing 36-hole events – in a mentally grueling sport like cross country and track. It will only benefit our team. She’s a player that’s continually improved. She’s played quite a few national events and had success, so we like her experience level.”
The 2013 KHSAA Athlete of the Year for Region 4, Ellen Kehoe has enjoyed national-level success during her career at Taylor County High.
On the national scene, she won the 2013 Hurricane Junior Golf Tour Championship and finished first at the 2014 Kentucky Junior Masters. The oldest of three children, she set the course record with a 64 in the second round of the 2014 Kentucky Women’s Amateur and later qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur that year.
Kehoe, who won four of eight high school events in 2014, captured the title at the 2014 KHSAA Coaches All-Star Golf Tournament. She has finished in the top 15 all four years at the state championship and was named first team all-state in 2013 and 2014.
Academically, she earned a first-team spot on the all-state academic team all four years, boasting a 4.0 unweighted grade-point average.
Head Coach Courtney Trimble on Kehoe:
“Ellen is a super consistent player. She has played against all different levels of competition. She’s had a lot of success throughout the state of Kentucky and also qualified this summer for the U.S. Women’s Amateur, which features the best players in the world and she held her own there. She hasn’t had the national exposure yet, but I think she’s capable of playing at that level.”
Lexie Long, a two-time Ohio Capital Conference Player of the Year, earned first team conference honors all four years of high school. Her senior year, when she averaged a 71, she broke the conference record by shooting 15-under par for four rounds to boast a stroke average of 68.25.
A 2015 graduate of Dublin Coffman, she was a medalist in 13 of 18 tournaments her senior campaign. For her efforts, she was awarded Central District Division 1 Player of the Year.
In July 2014, she won the Ohio Junior Girls’ Championship in Marion, Ohio. Long has qualified for both the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and the Callaway Junior World Golf Championship. The summer prior, she made the championship flight of the Women’s Western at Dayton Country Club.
Head Coach Courtney Trimble on Long:
“This was her breakout summer. She picked up golf a couple years ago too, and this summer, she really started to compete on a national level and have some success. She pretty much dominated her region this fall in high school golf. She ended up finishing third in the state championship, but she’s somebody who is just continuing to improve and developing as a solid player.”
Meghan Nay, a three-sport athlete at Creekview High in Georgia, is quickly becoming a golf success despite picking up the game within the last two years.
Nay won the 2013 county championship and continued her triumphs into 2014 by placing first at the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. She registered a combined 13 top-10 finishes on the Hurricane Junior and the Southeastern Junior Golf Tours.
She played on the varsity basketball team her freshman and sophomore years – helping her school to the region title as a freshman – before making the switch. Nay was a USTA Georgia state championship finalist. She boasts a 4.1 grade-point average to rank 11th in her class and is the vice president for the National Honor Society. Nay earned the scholar-athlete award and the presidential academic award.
Head Coach Courtney Trimble on Nay:
“Meghan is a multi-sport athlete that just started playing golf a couple years ago and has tremendous upside. What she lacks in experience, she makes up in athleticism and competitiveness. She’s extremely strong and we’re excited about her because she is someone we feel like can really improve once she gets here and gains experience at this level.”
A seasoned player from Chapin, S.C., Jacqueline Twitty ranks as the sixth-best player in the state of South Carolina and in the top 100 in Golfweek’s Class of 2015 national rankings.
Twitty won the AJGA Preseason Tournament during the summer in addition to registering first-place finishes in five other tournaments during the 2013-14 campaign. Among the numerous national tournaments in which she played, she finished in the top 10 in the 2013 Junior Girls North and South Championship and the 2014 Golfweek Southeast Invitational.
Twitty, who boasts a low round of 65 on a par-72, has been selected to the all-region high school team each year since seventh grade. She represented the Carolinas on the Carolinas/Georgia Team and the Can/Am Team – both for two years.
Head Coach Courtney Trimble on Twitty:
“Jacqueline has played all over the country. She won an AJGA. She’s a really experienced player and comes from parents who were both coaches. She’s had high success at all levels – regional and national, so we’re really looking to draw on her experience. She constantly wants to put herself against the best competition. She committed pretty early, but she made the promise that she would strive to be the best and continue to gain experience before she got here.”