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INA, Ill. (April 10, 2014) – For the 15th Class of the Rend Lake College Sports Hall of Fame, one graduate and one team will be honored during the banquet: the 2004-05 Women’s Golf team and Bobbie Jo Bivens-Decker, an RLC women’s golfer from 1999-2001. The ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in the Student Center.
- Bobbie Jo Bivens-Decker (Murphysboro): Bivens-Decker is the first, and so far only, women’s golfer to win back-to-back Regional Championships during her two years at RLC. As a graduate of Petersburg Porta High School in Petersburg, Bivens-Decker came to RLC and led the Lady Warriors as a freshman in four of the five events preceding her first regional win as well as leading the team to sixth at Nationals. As a freshman, she placed 30th overall with a score of 365.
When she returned as a sophomore, she again won Regionals, and also helped the team place seventh at Nationals. She placed 35th as a sophomore with a score of 361 at nationals. Afterward, she transferred to Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Ark.
During her time at RLC, she was also medalist in the RLC Mary M. O’Neal Classic with 158 (81-77), second place at the McKendree Invite with 164 (82-82), medalist at the Illinois Wesleyan Classic with 148 (76-72); medalist again at the Southern Indiana Invite, and second place at the Brescia Invite.
“When Bobbie Jo won Regionals two-years in a row, I feel like that was a huge accomplishment for her and for the team,” said Head Coach Cindy Corn. The 1999-2000 team was her first as head coach. “The team built a lot of friendships, and they are still close-nit today.”
- Women’s Golf Team, 2004-05: The Region XXIV Championship team and NJCAA fourth-place team was comprised of seven players from as close as Benton and as far as South Africa. Local players Nicole Adams (O’Fallon), Courtney Doughty (Benton), Ashley Hemann (Highland), Danielle Kaufman (Nashville) and Meredith Mosel (DeSoto) were joined by Casey Biddinger (Lafayette, Ind.) and Surita Risseeuw (Pretoria, South Africa).
Kaufman was named Third-Team All-American as a freshman, and Biddinger and Mosel were listed as All-Region honorees. Together, the team set a 17-stroke Region record with 645 (324-321). At Regionals, Risseeuw finished first with 157 (77-80) and Kaufman finished second with 159 (80-79). Biddinger came in fourth at 166 (82-84), Mosel in fifth at 167 (85-82), and Hemann in sixth at 168 (88-80).
Having started the season ranked number five in the nation, the Lady Warriors stepped it up, moving to fourth at NJCAA Nationals in Daytona Beach, Fla. Risseeuw tied for fifth at Nationals, putting her forward as a Second-Team All-American. Hemann finished 18th, followed by Adams in 20th, and Biddinger in 30th.
The sophomore-dominated team finished Nationals in fourth place with an overall score of 1,310 (336-315-333-326). Other feats for the team include setting 18- and 36-hole team records at the McKendree Invite, winning the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Invite, and taking third at the Illinois Wesleyan Invite. Risseeuw won medalist at the Screaming Eagle Classic in Indiana, and both Kaufman and Biddinger carded holes-in-one during the season.
“That year, their families were very supportive and would always travel for the team, even if their child wasn’t playing,” said Corn. “Every tournament was a team effort, and you can see that looking at their scores. We were very fortunate. It’s the best showing we’ve ever had at the National Tournament. This team was great to coach. It’ll be good to have them all back.”