Sep 6, 2013
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's golf team opens up its 2013-14 season at Illinois State's Redbird Invitational at Welbring Golf Club Sept. 8-9.
The Redbirds will host a 14-team field in Normal, Ill., including Mid-American Conference foes Ball State, Bowling Green State, Ohio, and Toledo. Bradley, Drake, Evansville, Illinois Wesleyan, Oakland, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, and Western Illinois complete the field.
NIU comes into the tournament facing the challenge of a 36-hole shotgun start on Sunday, followed up with 18 holes on Monday.
"I'm excited for them to get out there," NIU head coach Kim Kester said. "They have been working hard these last few weeks in the weight room and I think they're ready.
"We get a chance to see a few MAC schools," Kester said. "It's going to be one of the tougher tournaments to start the fall season, but they'll do well"
Kester also noted that team camaraderie has improved compared to last season and senior Jenny Niemiec (St. Charles, Ill./East) has become a leader of the team. Niemiec placed sixth at the Harborside International last season while also posting a career low round of 71 at the Lady Bison Classic and a season scoring average of 80.8.
Sophomore Connie Ellett (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) is also looking to continue her roll after a season-best fifth-place finish at the Cardinal Classic at the Players Club. Ellett finished second on the Huskies roster with an 80.6 round average in 2012-13.
The Redbird Invitational is the first of four tournaments NIU will participate in this fall. NIU will compete in the Cougar Golf Classic Sept. 16 at Harborside Invitational Golf Center in Chicago, Ill. The UMKC Kangaroo Fall Invitational Sept. 30 at Shoal Creek Golf Club in Kansas City, Mo. The 2013 Preview played Oct. 7 at The Hawthorns Golf Club in Fishers, Ind. wraps up the fall portion of the Huskies schedule.