March 8, 2010
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's golf team is ready to escape the winter, as the Huskies head south to open the spring portion of their 2009-10 season, Mar. 10-11, at the NIU Snowbird Invitational at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Tampa, Fla.
"The majority of the teams are coming down with little or no outdoor playing opportunities since the fall, so we are all looking forward to seeing green grass again," said NIU head coach Pam Tyska. "We are so fortunate to have gathered such a great tournament field for the Snowbird this year."
NIU will be one of 14 teams at the 24th annual Huskie event.
Creighton, Eastern Illinois and Indiana St. will represent the Missouri Valley Conference while Loyola and Youngstown State will attend the event from the Horizon League. Western Illinois , St. Francis and John A. Logan universities are three of six Illinois schools competing in Florida, and will be joined by Trine, Western New Mexico, Baldwin Wallace and Methodist.
Many of the teams on this year's line-up have participated at the Snowbird before. Though Indiana State enters the tournament with the lowest team ranking from the fall season, the Huskies are the lowest returning finishers from last year's event after taking fourth place. However, it's a new year and Tyska is excited for the team to get back into the swing of things.
"We are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to get outside and continue our practice regime prior to our Snowbird competition," said Tyska. "(Senior) Kim Hunley is coming off as top dog for the Huskies after a strong fall opening. Hunley finished in the top-10 in 2009 and is returning this year with the most official Snowbird success."
Hunley returns to the green after averaging a team-low 78.5 strokes in eight rounds of play in the fall. The senior led the team at the Snowbird event last year, tying for a 10th place finish with a 153 (74-79). She holds the lowest career average in NIU women's golf history, a 79.6.
Tyska is also eager to see improvements from junior Jessica Parmenter
, who, along with senior Mandi Vavrinchik
, returns in the spring after seeing limited action in the fall due to an injury.
Freshman Allie Parthie, sophomore Kelsie Passolt, junior Michelle Caprusso and senior Kim Bailey also look to add to their previous posted success from the fall.