Wolverines Sign Trio to National Letters of Intent

Nov. 19, 2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's golf head coach Cheryl Stacy announced today (Thursday, Nov. 19) the signing of three players -- Alyssa Shimel (Pemberville, Ohio/Eastwood), Yugene Lee (Athens, Ga./Oconee County) and Chelsea Pezzola (Bradenton, Fla./Saint Stephens Episcopal Prep) -- to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-11 academic year.

"I am very excited and encouraged about my first recruiting class as head coach," said Stacy. "The experience shared by these three young ladies as well as their enthusiasm for Michigan will contribute to the success of this program. They are aware of my vision as a coach and are on board with helping to achieve our goals. I look forward to their arrival next fall and can't wait to work with them and watch them flourish both on and off the golf course."

Shimel heads to Michigan after a strong prep career at Eastwood High School. She was the medalist at the 2009 Division II state tournament held at Ohio State's Scarlet Course. She added a fourth-place individual finish in 2006 and an eighth-place showing in 2008. Shimel, who won four straight Division II sectional titles, is a two-time all-state first team (2006, '09) and 2008 all-state second team selection. A three-time team captain of Eastwood, she was a four-time all-district first team selection and was named the Northwest Ohio Girls Golf League Player of the Year three times (2007, '08, '09) as well as the Northwest Ohio Girls Golf League Rookie of the Year in 2006. The four year honor roll member, she is a member of the National Honor Society and earned All-Ohio Academic Honors in 2009.

"I have been a Michigan fan my whole life," said Shimel. "It feels wonderful to officially say I'm a Wolverine. I'm so excited to join the team and play for coach Stacy. I cannot wait to get to Ann Arbor and get started."

Chelsea Pezzola

Throughout her junior playing days, Shimel was the low amateur at the 2009 Ohio Women's Open and closed fourth among all amateurs in 2008. She has been a qualifier at the 2009 USGA Junior Girls Championship, the 2008 and 2009 Junior World Championship and the 2006, 2008 and 2009 National Trusted Choice Big I Tournament, finishing fourth at the Big I in 2009. She was a member of the 2006 Ohio Junior Golf Association team, which went on to win the Joe Hass Cup at Firestone Country Club. She has five top-five finishes at the Jamie Farr Junior Championship, including medalist honors in 2007 and a runner-up finish in 2006.

"I believe I gave Alyssa one of her first golf lessons while I was teaching in the Toledo area," said Stacy. "I have been keeping my eye on her over the years and she is becoming a great player. She is currently ranked No. 1 in her class in the state of Ohio. Her athleticism, work ethic and love for the game and Michigan is something I am most impressed with. Her national exposure was limited until this past summer where she made a huge splash, finishing fourth at the Big I and qualifying for the U.S. Junior along with some solid finishes in AJGA events. Winning the State Tournament was also a highlight of the year for her. I am thrilled that Alyssa has chosen Michigan to play her collegiate golf."

Lee makes the trek to Ann Arbor after a strong career at Oconee County High School in Watkinsville, Ga. She helped Oconee Country to three straight AAA state championships (2007, '08, '09), earning medalist honors in the 2007 and the 2009 AAA championship. With state titles, Lee was named the Northeast Georgia Player of the Year in 2007 and 2009. Lee was also the medalist at the Region 8-AAA.

"I am honored and very excited to be a part of the University of Michigan Golf program," said Lee. "It will be a great place for me to excel as both a student and athlete."

In 2009 junior golf, she was a finalist and match placer runner-up at the WWGA National Junior Championship and tied for 10th at the AJGA Girls Championship in 2009.

"Yugene brings to Michigan a great resume of national golf experience," said Stacy. "Finishing runner-up in the Western Junior Championship speaks volumes about her ability as a player and competitor. Yugene is ranked No. 2 in her class in the State of Georgia. She has a competitive fire that was apparent while I was recruiting her and that is something that every great team has. Her presence will make an immediate impact on this team and I believe she will continue to get better as time goes on."

Alyssa Shimel

Pezzola heads to Michigan after her prep career at Saint Stephens Episcopal Prep in Bradenton, Fla., and the Missing Link Golf Academy. She highlighted her prep career helping Saint Stephens to the 2007 FHSAA 1A State runner-up, as well as the 2007 FHSAA Regional and District championship titles. She was also named the Most Valuable Player in 2006 and Coach's Award Varsity Golf team in 2007. Pezzola is a member of the National Honors Society, the Spanish National Honors Society, People to People Student Ambassador nominee, the National Society of High School Scholars and Debutante Program of Sarasota (2009-10).

"I am so excited about my signing with University of Michigan's women's golf team," said Pezzola. "Coach Stacy is building a phenomenal program and I am so lucky to get the opportunity to be part of it. The team chemistry is awesome, and I look forward to adding something to the team."

During her junior golf career, Pezzola has competed in the Florida Women State Golf Association (FWSGA), the Future Collegians World Tour (FWCT), the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), the International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) and the PGA Junior tournaments. She was the medalist at the 14th Annual Donald Ross Memorial Invitational Golf Tournament at Sara Bay Country Club and had the lowest competitive round (68) at the 2008 Westfield Junior PGA Qualifier. She was the first alternate for the 2009 Big I Invitational tournament and the 2009 US Girls Junior Amateur and earned medalist honors at the 2009 Golfweek Junior Series Tour qualifier at Treetops Resort, and was 12th at the 2009 Golfweek Junior Invitational.

"I became aware of Chelsea late in the recruiting process and was fortunate to have watched her play at Treetops at the Golfweek Junior qualifier," said Stacy. "I was really impressed with her golf swing and her ability to score. She was very composed and seemed to have a great attitude on the golf course. These are qualities that I look for in a player to represent the Block 'M'. Chelsea has a tremendous amount of talent with experience to match. She is a great young lady with a lot of positive energy that will mix well with our current team. I look forward to her arrival in Ann Arbor and am confident that she will be a great asset to this program."

The Wolverines will lose two seniors this season, Ashley Bauer (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) and Andrea Ratigan (Tucson, Ariz./Sabino).

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423