ST. LOUIS – Southern Illinois women’s golf freshman Ayanna Habeel was named the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year on Tuesday.

“I am honored to have been named the MVC Newcomer of the Year,” said Ayanna Habeel. “While I am sad that our season was canceled due to COVID-19, I am glad my hard work and dedication toward the goals I’d set for myself with my coaches didn’t go unnoticed. I’m extremely blessed and look forward to what the future holds.”

Habeel had five Top-25 finishes through six tournaments this season. Carding a season low 71 in her first collegiate tournament, Ayanna finished tied for 20th at the Redbird Invitational and never looked back. Habeel improved each tournament to end the year with an average of 76.69.

“I am happy and excited for Ayanna,” said SIU head coach Danielle Kaufmann. “She has so much talent and deserves this award. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”

Habeel is the second player in program history to earn the honor since teammate Moyea Russell in 2018.

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