GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- North Dakota women's golf head coach Natalie Martinson announced the addition of a trio of new Fighting Hawks to her squad on Friday. Martinson reached into three different states to lure the newest additions, who all signed National Letters of Intent to golf at UND last week. The three newcomers are Riley Bass from Gig Harbor, Washington, Abbie Kelm from Bemidji, Minn., and Sydney Smith from Bismarck, N.D.
"Signing Day is always an exciting time and being able to add three players of the caliber that we did is a great feeling," Martinson said. "They all bring different skill sets to our team and each of them has the ability to make an immediate impact in our lineup next season."
Bass lettered in golf the last three seasons at Peninsula High School. Bass has qualified for state each of her three varsity seasons and has been a first-team All-South Puget Sound League honoree three-consecutive years. Bass also won the 2016 Washington State District Championship at Chambers Bay for girls ages 15-19 and is a three-time SPSL Scholar Athlete.
"I'm excited to see Riley's transition from the high school ranks to the college ranks. She has put together a successful prep career back in Washington and I expect her to finish that out strong and arrive here in Grand Forks ready to contribute as a Fighting Hawk," Martinson said.
Kelm entered her senior season with five varsity letters in tennis and four in golf from Bemidji High School. She qualified for the 2016 and 2017 Minnesota State Golf Tournaments and finished fifth in singles at the Minnesota State Tennis Tournament, finishing the season with a 36-1 record. Her doubles team took fifth at the 2016 event.
"Abbie excelled at both golf and tennis in high school and I'm certainly glad she chose to pursue golf at the collegiate level," Martinson added. "I think she has the natural athletic ability to really see her game take off when she gets here and focuses on developing her golf skills."
Smith won the North Dakota Class A State Championship as a junior in 2016 and was the runner-up at the event as a senior in 2017. Her 2016 crown helped her St. Mary's high school team capture the 2016 Class A state title. Her team took runner-up honors in 2017. Smith's brother, Jordan, is currently in his junior season playing for the UND men's golf team.
"Sydney comes from a golfing family and it's neat to see her continue that tradition here at UND," Martinson said. "She has enjoyed a lot of success and posted a lot of great rounds at the prep level here in North Dakota and I expect that to translate to the collegiate ranks as well."
All three players will join the Fighting Hawks for the 2018-19 season next fall.
-- UND --