May 30, 2012
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NEW ORLEANS - Tulane's 2012 senior golf class of Ashley McKenney, Samantha Troyanovich and Stephanie Wagstaff closed out their careers in grand style as the group was honored by the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) with the prestigious Kim Moore Spirit Award.
The award is in its eighth year and is presented annually to a golfer or coach who exemplifies a great spirit toward the game of golf, a positive attitude on and off the golf course, a role model for her team and mental toughness in facing challenges. Tulane's seniors are the first class to receive the award.
"I believe our seniors embody the essence of this award," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "I only had the privilege of coaching these young women for one season but it is easy to understand why Tulane women's golf immediately returned to national prominence in just their freshmen year, the same season the program was re-launched following its suspension in the aftermath of the worst national disaster in our nation's history-- Hurricane Katrina.
"This class has shown me through their actions their true passion for the game of golf and their determination to define the student-athlete experience. Their courage and positive outlook on life and, that with a little hard work and mental toughness, you can overcome just about anything. I am very proud to say these three young women have been successful on the golf course, in the classroom and in the community."
McKenney, Troyanovich and Wagstaff came to Tulane in August 2008 and marked the first class for the program since its suspension following Hurricane Katrina in 2006. Four years later, the trio had led the Wave to back-to-back NCAA Championship appearances and Conference USA titles in 2009 and 2010, earned four straight trips to the NCAA Regionals, five tournament titles, and the group helped the Wave to 20 top-5 finishes in 43 total tournaments.
The class played on teams that now owns three of the top five records for single-season stroke average in school history and led the Wave to its highest ranking of No. 10 (2011) since the program was re-instated.
Off the course, the trio to exceled in the classroom with a combined grade point average of 3.44 and each golfer was named to the Conference USA commissioner's honor roll in each of their four years.
McKenney and Troyanovich served on the Tulane Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), while McKenney presided over the C-USA SAAC group during her final two years. Between the three of them, they were involved in over 40 community service projects, many reaching out to the inner-city schools of New Orleans and ultimately providing a better experience for the youth of our great city.
The award, which was presented this past Friday at the NGCA Banquet in Nashville, Tenn., is dedicated to Kim Moore, who played golf for the University of Indianapolis (1999-2003). Kim was an inspiration to all as she persevered through many physical challenges while playing collegiate golf. Her positive outlook and dedication toward the game was only out done by her sense of humor and passion for the game.