Freshman Krystal Knight(Groveland, Mass.) of the Merrimack College women’s golf team will compete in the individual competition during the NCAA Division II East Super Regional following a remarkable effort during the regular season, as announced by the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Monday.
The three-round tournament will take place on May 2-4 at the Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Illinois. Knight will be competing against five individuals in the East Region, as she needs to finish in the top-three during the 54-hole tournament, to clinch a spot in the four-round NCAA Division II National Championship on May 18-21 at the CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora, Colorado.
“Krystal performed consistently all season, and furthermore, her performance as a freshman was nothing short of outstanding,” said head coach Nick Crovetti. “She becomes only the second player in the short five-year history of the program, to qualify for regional play. I am happy for her, and excited to attend another super regional.”
Knight compiled a complete resume during her rookie season, as she was the Warriors’ top-finisher in seven of 10 events, including a string of five consecutive earlier this season. She has finished in the top-15 overall in all 10 events, while making her way into the top-three on five occasions.
The Groveland, Massachusetts, native has collected all nine Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week awards during the 2015-16 season, while grabbing Golfer of the Week recognition on three occasions. She was also named Corvias ECAC Women’s Golf Rookie of the Month for Division II during March, as she fired a 75-75-81-231 ledger and finished in a tie for 15th overall at the Perry Park Spring Fling on March 18-20. The rounds of 75 are tied for the lowest single-round marks by any Warrior during the spring.
The freshman standout made an immediate impact for the Warriors, as she led the team to three first-place finishes during the fall season. Knight fired a 74 in her collegiate debut at the Southern N.H. Dual, as she finished in second overall.
Knight performed exceptionally well at the Lady Penmen Invitational in September, as she earned medalist honors for the first time in her career, fired a career-low round of 73 and fired a career-low two-round match score of 149 during the two-round tournament. She jumped into the program’s record book, as the 149 is tied for the lowest two-round match score in program history and the 73 is tied for the fourth-lowest single round in the program.
The Biology major is averaging 78.0 strokes per round, which is the lowest average on the team and clears second place by 2.7 strokes. She has recorded 12 rounds in the 70s, including nine during the fall, as the team has totaled 27 rounds in the 70s between the fall and spring. Her commitment to excellence was on display earlier this season, as she reeled off 70s in 11 of 13 rounds.
The bright lights did not intimidate Knight, as she fired a 78-75-153 ledger and finished second overall at the NE-10 Championship in September. Following the two-day tournament, she earned Outstanding Rookie of the Championship and all-conference first-team recognition.
During the 2015-16 season, she has fired 75 or lower in six rounds, which is the most on the team. Knight led the Warriors in 12 specific rounds, as she led the squad in four consecutive rounds on two occasions.