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Dec. 6, 2002

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia women’s golf team has received National Letters of Intent from four student-athletes during the early signing period, head coach Jan Mann announced on Friday.

“I am extremely pleased with the four individuals that we signed to play golf for the University of Virginia,” Mann said. “They will form the foundation of our new golf program and with their skills and talent, I believe that foundation will be very strong.”

Members of the Cavaliers’ first-ever golf team will be Lindsay Robinson, Sally Shonk, Rachel Smith, and Leah Wigger.

“My goal was to recruit the most talented individuals who would represent the university, the athletic department and the women’s golf program in an exemplary manner, and I believe I have found those individuals in these four recruits,” Mann added. “Each signee has demonstrated her golfing abilities through her accomplishments on the local, regional and national level. They have also demonstrated great success in the classroom and through their service to the community.”

Robinson, a native of Huntington, W.V., was a 2002 HP Compaq Scholastic Junior All-American at Cabell Midland High School. An all-conference and all-tournament honoree, she finished second at the IJGT Colleton River Classic, fourth at the JAGA Bluegrass Junior Invitational, fifth at the IJGT championship, and fifth at the West Virginia Women’s State Amateur. Robinson serves as the vice president of the National Honor Society.

“Lindsay may be one of the hardest working individuals I have ever come across,” Mann said. “There is little doubt that she will be the work horse and push her teammates to be the best that they can be.”

Shonk, a native of Noblesville, Ind., was a 2002 AJGA Scholastic All-American at Noblesville High School. Also the FCWT Player of the Year and PGA Jr. Golf Player of the Year in 2002, Shonk finished second individually at the Indiana high school state finals. A four-time all-state and all-conference selection, she averaged 72.7 strokes during her prep career. A National Honor Society member, Shonk also played basketball for four seasons.

“Sally is a very talented golfer who brings great potential to this team,” Mann said. “I see her as being a steady player with a very strong game. Her athletic ability is evidenced by her success in golf and also in basketball. She is a competitor.”

Smith, a native of Powell, Tenn., was a 2002 AJGA Honorable Mention All-American and a AJGA Scholastic Junior All-American at Karns High School. A four-time AAA District champion and three-time AAA Region champion, she won the 2000 and 2001 Tennessee Girls Junior Amateur. She was also the individual champion at the 2001 CJGA Ontario Junior Golf tourney, the 2002 AJGA Clubcorp Junior at Homestead, and the 2002 Signal Mountain Junior tourney, where she set the record with a low round of 68. Ranked No. 65 in the final 2002 Golfweek/Titleist national rankings, Smith is a member of the National Honor Society.

“Rachel has shown that she knows how to win. With a national ranking of 65th in the nation, she has proven her ability to compete with the best golfers in the nation. Rachel should step in and set the pace for this team,” Mann said.

Wigger, a native of Louisville, Ky., was the 2001 PGA-KGA Player of the Year at Assumption High School. The four-time all-state honoree was the 2002 Kentucky state champion. During the state meet, she set the state record with a five-under 139 with rounds of 69 and 70. Wigger finished third at the AJGA Bluegrass Tournament. She is a member of the National Honor Society.

“Leah is going to an extremely valuable player for our team. She is a very athletic and talented golfer. These traits, coupled with her determination, will make her a winner. Leah’s winning attitude will bring strength to this team,” Mann said.

The UVa women’s golf team will compete for the first time during the fall of 2003.

With the addition of women’s golf, Virginia will have 13 intercollegiate sports for women and 12 for men. Golf is one of UVa’s 12 men’s sports. In August 2001, Littlepage announced the addition of women’s golf. William C. Eacho, Jr., and his wife Linda of Bethesda, Md., donated $1.4 million to help create an endowment for funding women’s golf scholarships.

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