Lady Flames' golf earns NGCA's top academic honor
CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WRCB) -- The Lee University women's golf team made headlines earlier this year when it won eight straight tournaments en route to a No. 2 national ranking.
It's biggest victory may have come this week, though, when the Lady Flames received the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-Scholar Team GPA Award for owning the nation's best cumulative grade-point-average.
It's the second straight year the program has won the honor, which recognizes the top student-athletes across all levels of collegiate golf, not just the NAIA.
Lee University was tops by a wide margin. It's six team members compiled a 3.965 cumulative GPA, outdistancing runner-up Merrimack College's 3.787.
"We are honored to win this award for the second straight year," said Lee head coach John Maupin. "This team takes their academics very seriously, so this award means a lot to us. The ladies deserve so much credit for being dedicated to their school work, and battling through all the challenges that come with being a student-athlete."
In only its fourth full season of collegiate competition, the Lady Flames won eight of the ten tournaments they entered and finished eleventh at the NAIA National Championship.
The team, composed of Madison Alexander, Geandra Almeida, Kristin Bourg, Chelsea Rakestraw, Courtney Shelton and Sloane Skinner, was ranked eighth in the year's final NAIA poll.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's golf team boasted the nation's 21st-best GPA in the top 25 rankings released by the NGCA.
"I think it is also a credit to the professors of our institution. They play a major role in helping our team be successful in the classroom," Maupin said. "When you look at the other schools on that list you can see why it is such an amazing accomplishment, as there are some excellent schools listed."
The following is a list of the NGCA's top 25 team GPA's for 2011-12:
1st Lee University 3.965
2nd Merrimack College 3.787
3rd Otterbein University 3.786
4th University of Akron 3.766
5th University of New Mexico 3.735
6th University of Central Oklahoma 3.734
7th Drury University 3.717
8th University of Memphis 3.711
9th Western Carolina University 3.708
T 10th Angelo State University 3.707
T 10th Lynn University 3.707
12th Xavier University 3.704
13th Hope College 3.692
14th Harvard University 3.690
15th Texas Tech University 3.680
16th Bradley University 3.664
17th Barry University 3.663
18th Tusculum College 3.644
19th University of Missouri-Kansas City 3.630
20th Rollins College 3.628
21st University of Tennessee Chattanooga 3.621
22nd Coastal Carolina University 3.617
23rd University of Notre Dame 3.611
24th West Texas A&M University 3.606
25th Brown University 3.605