ERIE, Pa. – Gannon has named Villa Maria (Pa.) Academy alumnus Abby Sorensen head women’s golf coach. Sorensen replaces Jason Willow who resigned at the conclusion of the 2011-12 academic year.
Sorensen was a four-year letterwinner at Allegheny (Pa.) where she graduated last spring as the school’s valedictorian with a 3.95 cumulative grade-point average. She was an integral part in helping the Gator women’s golf team secure its fifth consecutive top-10 finish at the NCAA Division III National Championships in May. As a result, Allegheny became the first program across any NCAA division to qualify for the national championships its first seven years as a varsity sport.
“Abby will be a great addition to the Gannon community and we’re excited to have her join the athletics staff,” said Gannon Director of Athletics Mark Richard. “Abby comes from a great program at Allegheny. She is a mature and focused individual who is committed to keeping the program successful at a high level on the course and in the classroom. Abby quickly surfaced as a great candidate to help continue the program’s recent success.”
Sorensen averaged 86.4 strokes per round during her final two seasons at Allegheny. Her best finish as a senior in 2011-12 was a 10th-place performance at the Nazareth Fall Invitational while a 78 during the first round of Gannon’s Michael Corbett Fall Classic represented her best 18-hole score of the season. She produced a career-best two-day total of 160 (78-82) on Gannon’s home course. Sorensen recorded six top-20 finishes as a senior, including a 14th-place finish during the first event of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship series and a 16th-place finish during the second event.
“I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to lead this group of very talented student-athletes,” said Sorensen. “Coach Willow left very big shoes to fill, and I am honored to take over this program that he worked so hard to build into a nationally-competitive one. I am very humbled by the confidence Mark Richard and the University have in hiring me, and I look forward to working closely with the entire Golden Knight athletics staff.”
Sorensen enjoyed her career-best finish as the individual runner-up at the 2010 Allegheny Invitational behind a two-day total of 163 (80-83). She finished seventh during the first event of the NCAC championships series as a junior. Sorensen was named to the Wittenberg Spring Preview All-Tournament Team as a sophomore, before becoming the First Flight champion at the Erie District Women’s Golf Association Match Play Championships during the summer of 2010.
In addition to being named to the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-America Scholar Team as a junior and senior, Sorensen was a two-time Doane Scholar and three-time Distinguished Alden Scholar while at Allegheny.
The Erie, Pa., native was a two-sport athlete at Villa Maria Academy, lettering four times in both golf and softball. Also a high school valedictorian, Sorensen helped lead the 2007 Villa Maria golf team to a state runner-up finish. She originally attended Penn State for one semester, before continuing her academic and athletic career at Allegheny.
Sorensen graduated from Allegheny in May of 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and a minor in Political Science. She is also currently working in sales and marketing for Erie Promotions and Expo, Inc., which produces nine consumer shows in the tri-state area including the Erie Golf & Travel Expo in February.
Sorensen takes over a highly successful Gannon program that concluded the 2011 fall campaign by winning its first conference championship. The squad captured the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) title, easily defeating three-time defending champion California (Pa.) by 13 strokes. The club posted top-three finishes during five of its eight events last season. Amanda Teodorsson won the PSAC individual title with a two-day total of 153, out-distancing the conference’s next best golfer by five strokes. Four Lady Knights earned All-PSAC honors while Saskia Merz was named PSAC Freshman of the Year.