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November 14, 2013

NAU Golf Brings in Three Golfers for Next Season

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Northern Arizona University's golf team has confirmed that three of its recruits have chosen to attend NAU in fall 2014. Head Coach Brad Bedortha's 2014 recruiting class includes Kaitlyn Saum, Sierra Bezdicek and Carly Akine.

"I am very excited for this group," said Bedortha. "Not only are they good athletes but they are good students and people. This could definitely be one of our best recruiting classes as a whole."

Saum is currently a senior at Red Mountain High School where she played under head coach Sean Smith. A native of Mesa, Ariz., Saum has been a standout golfer for the Mountain Lions throughout her high school career garnering four MVP awards, a Mesa All-City High School Championship, Mesa Player of the Year Award and a second place finish at the 2013 Arizona state championship. Saum has represented Arizona as a member of the Girls Junior America's Cup team for the past two years.

"Her golf game has really improved after this past summer," said Bedortha. "I think she will be a great addition to our team and has shown the ability to come in and make an impact."

Bezdicek will join her sister Savana here at NAU after an impressive career at Mt. Spokane High School where she played under head coach Eleen Northcutt. During her career she has garnered numerous accolades such as two-time Greater Spokane League MVP and First Team All-City. This past spring, as a junior, she finished 2nd at the Washington State High School 3A state championship.  The year prior, she ended up winning the 3A state championship and was 2nd place as a freshman.  In the summer of 2012, she won the PNGA Amateur Women's Pub Links Championship. Bezdicek also played on Mt. Spokane's girls' soccer team winning a league championship and finished runner-up in the 2012 3A state championship.

"She is a player who has always been a two-sport athlete and knowing that she will be able to focus on golf should definitely help her game," said Bedortha. "I think the sky is the limit for Sierra."

Akine is finishing up her prep career at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Ariz. Under the guidance of head coach Gary King, Akine has had a much decorated career. Accolades include four Lowest Average of the Year Awards, two top-10 finishes at the state championships (2013, 4th place) two-time First Tee Female Golfer of the Year, 2012 Greg Hoyt Player of the Year, as well as medaling in 37 of the 47 matches she competed in during her four-year career. Carly has been a very active member of the First Tee Program, and was invited to play in the 2012 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach with Champions Tour player Tom Purtzer.

"She is a player that verbally committed over a year ago and has really grown into her golf game," Bedortha. "She had a great finish to her high school career finishing tied for fourth at the state championship and I think she will continue to get better."