Melbourne, Fla. - Lynn University women's golfer Kristina Ortiz has been named the 2018-19 Sunshine State Conference Woman of the Year, as announced by the league office on Monday. She becomes the third Fighting Knight in the last six years to earn SSC Woman of the Year laurels.
Athletic Directors, Senior Woman Administrators, Athletic Communication Directors and Faculty Athletic Representatives from each of the league's 11 member institutions chose Ortiz from a pool of nominees. Candidates were scored based on the NCAA's Woman of the Year Guidelines.
Ortiz graduated from Lynn in Spring 2019 with a 3.93 grade point average in international business management. Her classroom acumen earned her Google Cloud Academic All-America Third Team recognition in 2019 while she has also been honored as a two-time Google Cloud First Team All-District selection and four-time Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholar as well as SSC Commissioner's Honor Roll recipient.
The Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, native put forth an incredible senior season in which she was tabbed WGCA Second Team All-America, WGCA First Team All-South Region and SSC Second Team All-Conference. Ortiz posted a 74.82 stroke average with six top-10 finishes, both personal bests, and ended her career with the Blue & White as the record holder for career rounds played and fourth in scoring average.
In addition to the personal accolades, Ortiz guided the Fighting Knights to the second SSC Championship and the third NCAA South Regional title in program history. Lynn ended the year with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championship, the team's first national title appearance since 2015.
While her athletic and academic plaudits are impressive, her time spent promoting change within the administrative and community ranks may be her most extraordinary accomplishments. She has been an integral part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at the university, conference and national levels, serving as Lynn's Co-President of SAAC since 2016, being named the SSC's SAAC President in 2017 and representing the league as the national representative beginning in 2017. Additionally, she served on Lynn's Athletic Council, the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct and the Division II Management Council.
Within the South Florida community, Ortiz has been a part of many organizations to help those in need, including spearheading two Make-A-Wish Wishmaker campaigns and working with Feeding South Florida, 4ocean beach cleanup, Stratford retirement home and many others.
Lynn has now had three recipients of the SSC Woman of the Year award in the past three years and four since 2007. Each conference winner is nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors. Rebecca Matthews (swimming) was recognized in 2016 and Ellen Chambers (golf) in 2014 as she became the first national NCAA WOTY Top-9 finalist in school history. Additionally, Alex Schunk (tennis) was one of two WOTY nominees from the SSC in 2007.
SSC Woman of the Year Winners Since 2005-06
2018-19: Kristina Ortiz, Lynn University
2017-18: Emily Santoli, Florida Southern College
2016-17: Marie Coors, Saint Leo University
2015-16: Rebecca Matthews, Lynn University
2014-15: Linda Fritschken, Barry University
2013-14: Ellen Chambers, Lynn University
2012-13: Lauren Boudreau, Nova Southeastern University
2011-12: Grace Collins, Barry University
2010-11: Barbara Pocza, Barry University
2009-10: Maria Garcia-Austt, Nova Southeastern University / Lydee Benoit, Eckerd College
2008-09: Shyla Rider, Barry University
2007-08: Virginia Davenport, Saint Leo University
2006-07: Kelly Morrisroe, Eckerd College
2005-06: Greta Trotman, Barry University