FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. The University of Arkansas women’s golf team signed four future Razorbacks to National Letters of Intent head coach Shauna Estes Taylor announced today.
Joining Arkansas for the 2009-2010 season is Emma Lavy of Fayetteville, Ark.; Meagan Roberts of Ocean Springs, Miss.; Rachel Carpenter of Suffolk, Va.; and Victoria Vela of Mansfield, Texas.
“I’m so excited about this recruiting class,” said Estes-Taylor. “(Assistant coach) Mike (Adams) and I have worked extremely hard on the recruiting trail watching and building relationships with these four young ladies. They will have a tremendous impact on our program and I’m excited to have them joining our Razorback family.”
Lavy, whose older sister Brittany was a member of the Arkansas women’s golf team from 2004-06, is an accomplished player whose career includes a full schedule on the Arkansas State Golf Associations junior circuit as well as international experience.
Lavy is a two-time Arkansas High School overall winner as a freshman and senior. In addition, Lavy is the 2008 7A state and conference medalist as well as a four-time all-state and all-conference selection.
Lavy is the second of five children to Trevor and Kellie Lavy. Sister Brittany is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas. Hannah, 19, is a student at SMU; Olivia is a freshman in high school and youngest sister, Anna Grace, is a sixth-grader in Fayetteville.
“I’m so proud to have Emma stay here at home and compete for the team she has grown up watching,” said Estes-Taylor. “Emma is a great ball-striker and putts it so well. She is a special young lady and I have had the privilege of watching her develop into one of the top recruits in the country. She has worked extremely hard and it has definitely paid off. She will have a tremendous impact on our program and I feel so lucky to be the coach who gets to help her chase her dream of playing at the next level.”
Carpenter joins the Razorbacks from Suffolk, Va., where home schooling under the direction of the Northstar Academy helped her focus on golf.
Carpenter is a two-time qualifier for the U.S. Girls’ Junior, a three-time participant in the Kathy Whitworth Invitational and was the youngest player to win the SJGT Tournament of Champions, picking up the title when she was just 13 years old.
Carpenter is the daughter of Rear Admiral Wendi B. Carpenter and she has a brother, Jordan, who played golf at Valdosta State University.
“Rachel is an awesome young lady that embodies all the attributes that a coach looks for in a student-athlete,” said Estes-Taylor. “She has the build and fundamentals to be a great college player. Rachel was our last commitment and a very great addition to our team. I’m excited to watch her game grow and progress over the next four years as a Razorback. She has the make-up to play the next level and she will work extremely hard to make her dreams of playing the tour come true.”
Vela hails from Mansfield, Texas, where she awaits her senior season with the Wolves. A two-time Texas District 15-4A medalist, Vela recently won three consecutive high school tournaments. Her lowest two-day total is a 143 and her best round is a 69. Vela is the Fort Worth Star Telegram Player of the Year for 2008 and was a Dallas Morning News First-Team selection this year.
In addition to golf, Vela is a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club. She is the oldest of two children to Joe and Diana Vela of Mansfield, Texas. Vela has a younger brother, Troy, and would like to major in marketing at Arkansas.
“Mike and I are very excited about the addition of Victoria to our squad,” said Estes-Taylor. “Victoria is a great student, a great golfer, and a tremendous competitor. She has been very successful in high school and junior golf by teaching herself and from the guidance of her mom Diana. Victoria has the ability to get the ball in the hole no matter the conditions. I love to see that in a player and we are looking forward to bringing that kind of continued mental toughness to our team.”
Roberts checks in from Ocean Springs, Miss., where she finished second at the 2007 Mississippi High School Boys District Championship. The winner of the 2007 AJGT Match Play Championship, Roberts was also the runner-up at the AJGT Stroke Play Tour Championship.
Roberts took part in the 2008 Junior World Championship in San Diego, Calif., posting a third-round 70.
“Meagan is a true Razorback and I’m so excited to have her on our team,” said Estes-Taylor. “She is strong, athletic, and has the ability to go low. She played some great golf at the Junior World Championship in California this summer that was quite impressive. I believe Meagan will come in and impact our program and will get better and better every year. She is a great young lady who values the spirit of our University and has a desire to be the best.”
The Razorback women’s golf team is in the midst of the winter competition break but returns to the course March 13-15 at the LSU/Cleveland Invitational in Baton Rouge, La.
For more information about Arkansas women’s golf, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.