March 9, 2014
Rio Verde Final
RIO VERDE, Ariz. - The Northern Illinois University women's golf team trimmed 20 strokes of its second round score to hold on to 10th after the final round of play at the 12th Annual Rio Verde Invitational Sunday.
The Huskies shot a final round 300, which is the fifth-lowest score for an 18-hole round in school history, to finish in 10th place with a 927. NIU's 927 (304-323-300) is the fourth-lowest score in school history for a 54-hole event and the second lowest of the season.
"Two out of the three rounds were fantastic. We just need to get three out of the three next time," said NIU head coach Kim Kester. "The girls bounce back extremely well from yesterday. Overall it was a great tournament for us."
NIU finished ahead of fellow Mid-American Conference competitors Ohio (929) and Akron (953) and in-state rivals Bradley (945) and Illinois State (965). Xavier won the event with a 900 and Tara Green of Montana won the individual title.
Senior Jenny Niemiec (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) led the way for the Huskies firing a final round 74 and finishing with a 228 (77-77-74), the ninth-lowest score in school history. She moved up nine spots on the leaderboard with her final round performance to finish in 16th.
"She kept the ball in play and today she made a huge putt on No.1 for birdie," Kester said of Niemiec's play. "She went at things when she could but she played, for the most part, pretty conservatively. She got the birdies when she could and took the pars when she could."
Freshman Lena Gautier (LaCelle Saint Cloud, France/Creteil) made the biggest jump of the day. After starting the final round 66th, Gautier used a one-over par final round to vault herself to 37th. She finished the tournament with a 234 (78-84-72). Fellow freshman Sydney Brickey (Burtchville, Mich./Shattuck-St. Mary's) also finished in 37th with a 234 after scoring a 78 in her final round.
Sophomore Connie Ellett (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) finished in 45th with a 236 (78-77-81). Samantha Coyne (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) saved her best for last, shooting a final round 76 to finish 63rd with a 241 (80-85-76).
The Huskies return to the course Mar. 23 when they travel to Dunnellon, Fla. to compete in the Ocala Spring Invitational hosted by Michigan State. Tee time is set for 8 a.m. CT.
Team Scores: 1. Xavier (900); 2. Montana (905); 3. Toledo (914); 4. Wichita State (917); T-5. Western Michigan (921), Northern Arizona (921); 7. Eastern Michigan (922); 8. Ball State (924); 9. Bowling Green State (926); 10. Northern Illinois (928); 11. Ohio (929); 12. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (940); 13. Bradley (945); 14. Akron (953); 15. UMKC (955); 16. Missouri State (958); 17. Arkansas-Little Rock (960); 18. Illinois State (965).
Individual Scores: 1. Tara Green (UM) 219; 2. Shane Crutchfield (XU) 221; T-3. Jenna Hague (BSU) 222, Jacquie LeMarr (UNA) 222; T-5. Danielle Lemek (BU) 223, Sathika Ruenreong (UT) 223, Abigail Smith (XU) 223; 8. Barbora Bakova (UM) 224; T-9. Alejandro Arellano (WSU) 225, Jennifer Elsholz (UT) 225, Kaitlen Parsons (UNA) 225, Alexa Schendelman (UM) 225.