A senior from Spencer, Iowa, Bender placed fourth at the Blackburn Invitational held March 23-24 in Wood River, Ill. He fired rounds of 78 and 76 for a 36-hole total of 154, just four strokes behind the tournament champion. Bender led the Storm to a second-place finish in the team standings.
Bender's 4-over 76 was the team's low score of the weekend as the Storm opened the spring season. The conference honor is the first of his career.
The Storm return to action March 29-30 at the Jim Weatherbee Invitational in Galesburg, Ill.