May 10, 2011

Nick Delio Named Big West Player of the Year

May 10, 2011

IRVINE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge senior Nick Delio was named Big West Player of the Year while sophomore Chris Russo earned honorable mention all-conference honors as announced by the Big West on May 10, 2011.

Delio becomes the first Matador golfer to earn conference Player of the Year accolades in the school's 15-year Division I history. Northridge has competed in the Big West since the 2002 season. He was also selected to the first team for the fourth consecutive year.

"Again it just shows Nick's consistency from day one," said Matador head coach Jim Bracken. "He's been a solid player his whole career. If you look at the stats he's the top-ranked player in the conference and had the best scoring average so I think he's the most deserving player this year."

The senior from Valencia, Calif., who earned Big West Freshman of the Year honors in 2008, finished as the runner-up at this season's conference championship tournament on May 2-3. The two-time Big West Player of the Week this season added to his record-setting Matador career by posting a conference-low 71.43 stroke average which is also the lowest average in school history.

He was the Matadors' low scorer in eight of 10 tournaments this season and had CSUN's lone individual win when he claimed his first Bill Cullum Invitational championship on Oct. 26. Delio also led the Matadors with six top-10 finishes and also finished in the top-20 on three other occasions. His season will continue May 19-21 as he competes in the NCAA Men's Golf Championships San Diego Regional.

"Being Player of the Year in the Big West was one of my short-term goals for the past four years," said Delio. "To finally break through my senior year after finishing second behind John Chin the last three years feels really special."

Russo, a sophomore from Westlake, Calif., finished second behind Delio in stroke average this season, finishing at 73.61.

"Chris is also very deserving of all-conference honors," said Bracken. "He had a couple of tournaments this season where he wasn't playing his best or he might be playing with Nick in the NCAA Championships. But overall, his play was consistent all year long and he is the Nick (Delio) of the future for us."

Russo, who picked up his first career postseason accolade, was CSUN's low scorer in two separate tournaments this season, including a season-best fifth-place finish at the Santa Clara Cabo Collegiate Oct. 2-4. He also finished in the top-20 four times. After a second round 69 at the Big West Championship put him in the thick of the individual chase, Russo wound up tied for seventh at six over-par 222.

2011 ALL-BIG WEST MEN'S GOLF

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Nick Delio, Northridge

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Matt Hansen, UC Davis

COACH OF THE YEAR
Cy Williams, UC Davis

FIRST TEAM ALL-BIG WEST
T.J. Bordeaux, Pacific
Nick Delio, Northridge
Geoff Gonzalez, Cal Poly
Austin Graham, UC Davis
Alex Johnson, Pacific
Tyler Raber, UC Davis

SECOND TEAM ALL-BIG WEST
Max Greil, UC Irvine
Matt Hansen, UC Davis
Bryan Harris, UC Irvine
Bryan Peirce, Cal Poly
Glen Scher, UC Santa Barbara

HONORABLE MENTION ALL-BIG WEST
Alex Edfort, Pacific
Jerry He, UC Irvine
Pat Kucich, Pacific
Kevin Roy, Long Beach State
Chris Russo, Northridge

- GO MATADORS -