Surendran earns first team honors

Raeshya Surendran was named to the All-OVC first team, while Ana Garcia Picchi and Eliza Kho were named to the All-OVC Newcomer team.

MURRAY — Murray State’s Raeshya Surendran, a senior from Selangor, Malaysia, was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference First Team in a vote by the league’s head coaches.

Surendran competed in 18 rounds of the 2019-20 season and led the OVC with a stroke average of 74.4. She becomes the 54th selection to all All-OVC honors combined in Coach Velvet Milkman’s 27 years

As one of the candidates for OVC Golfer of the Year, she was the champion at the Chris Banister Classic on scores of 74-66-73=213. Her 6-under par 66 was her career-low round and was one shot off the MSU record of 65 that Linette Holmslykke carded at the NCAA Regional at Auburn in 2019.

“I am very proud of and happy for Raeshya,” Coach Milkman said. “She has worked hard and improved every year while at Murray and it is nice to see all her hard work be rewarded. She has always been a good ball striker and this year made a conscious effort to develop her short game and it paid off. She had a tremendous year leading the OVC in stroke average and national ranking and she reached several goals including winning a tournament individually, as well as shoot a new career low. She had a very good year with consistent play and is very deserving of this recognition.”

Murray State’s freshman tandem of Ana Garcia Picchi and Eliza Kho were named to the All-OVC Newcomer Team. Picchi, from Seville, Spain, was third in the OVC among freshmen with a scoring average of 78.3, while Kho, from Miri, Malaysia, was fifth with a scoring average of 78.7.

“Congratulations to Ana and Eliza for earning this honor,” Milkman said. “Ana made an immediate impact on our team from day one.  She had a very good fall season and showed that she is a very talented player. She has the ability to be very good and it will be fun to see what she accomplishes in her career as a Racer. As for Eliza, it’s rewarding to coach a player who wants to learn, improve and is very proud to be a Racer. She improved tremendously from the fall to spring season to achieve her goals. It will be exciting to watch Ana and Eliza continue to improve throughout their careers.”

Although the OVC Golf Championship was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, golf was unique in that when the season ended in March, over 71 percent of the scheduled contests for the year had been completed. That combined with the fact that golf does not play a conference schedule, it was deemed there was enough statistical data to award the All-OVC and All-Newcomer Teams honors. However, it was decided the Player, Freshman and Coach of the Year awards would not be awarded this year since the championship was not conducted.

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