March 22, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University women's golf team is again heading south, as it travels to Florida for the 2014 Ocala Spring Invitational, hosted by Morehead State, at the Juliette Falls Golf Course Sunday.
This weekend's tournament is another opportunity for the Huskies to measure themselves against a group of Mid-American Conference opponents as Akron, Toledo, and Ohio will also be part of the 16-team field. Murray State, Western Kentucky, Florida Gulf Coast, Eastern Kentucky, Nebraska Omaha, Dayton State, Stetson, North Florida, McNeese State, Austin Peay, and Houston Baptist make up the rest of the competitors.
The Huskies are looking to put together a complete, three-round performance after posting two very strong rounds two weeks ago in a 10th place finish at the Rio Verde Invitational. NIU scored impressive first and third rounds (304 and 300 respectively) at Rio Verde, but struggled in the second round, posting a score of 323.
"We had a good showing at Rio Verde. Two of the three days we beat pretty much all of the MAC schools," said NIU head coach Kim Kester. "We look to have three good days this time instead of just two. I think they learned from their second day last tournament. That's what you want, something to learn from in each event."
NIU's first and third round combined score (604) was better than that of any other MAC school in the field at the Rio Verde Invitational. Fellow MAC schools Toledo, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Ohio, Bowling Green, and Akron competed at the tournament as well.
The Huskies will be taking on the challenge of playing on an unfamiliar course in the Juliette Falls Golf Course.
"We haven't seen the course, so we don't know what to expect really. We do know that it will be warm," Kester said.
Jenny Niemiec (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) will be looking to build on her strongest performance of the season two weeks ago at Rio Verde, where she led the Huskies with a tie for 16th place. Her score of 228 strokes was the result of three consistently strong rounds (77-77-74), and her third round score of 74 tied as her best round of the season.
The 54-hole tournament will be played over three days, 18 holes each day. The three rounds will be played March 23-25 with play beginning Sunday, March 23 at 8 a.m. CT.