The Northern Illinois University women’s golf team gained ground in the final round of play Tuesday at Morehead State’s 2014 Ocala Spring Invitational at the Juliette Falls Golf Course.
NIU gained one spot to take 12th and surpassed fellow Mid-American Conference foe Akron after shooting a final round 315 to finish with a three-round total of 939. Daytona State College won the event with an 889, while the Lady Falcon’s Tiffany Chan took the individual title with a 206.
While the Huskies were able to move up a spot on the final day, the team is far from satisfied with their performance in the tournament. A few years ago, a 314, 310 or 315 would have been a good score, but with the scores posted already this spring, the team is not satisfied with good.
“Now we’re disappointed with 315 as a team score,” said NIU head coach Kim Kester. “In a little over a year and a half we’ve lowered the scoring average. It’s a huge improvement and all the credit goes to the girls for their hard work. They’re starting to get disappointed with 80.”
Lena Gautier (LaCelle Saint Cloud, France/Creteil) led the way for the Huskies shooting a final round 78 to finish with a three-day total of 230 to finish in 25th. Her teammate Connie Ellett (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) also finished with a 230 (76-75-79). Gautier and Ellett were the only two Huskies to fire sub-80 rounds each day of the three-day tournament.
Freshman Sydney Brickey (Burtchville, Mich./Shattuck-St. Mary’s) finished in 57th with a 238 (82-77-79), while senior Jenny Niemiec (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) moved up six spots to finish 76th with a 247 (86-82-79). Casey LaBarbera (Marinette, Wis./Marinette) finished in 88th after carding a 260 (80-84-96) to round out the Huskie competitors.
Toledo was the highest finishing MAC school as the Rockets took fourth with a 905, good enough for fifth place. Ohio finished ninth with a 920, while Akron’s 943 placed the Zips in 13th, just behind NIU.
“We moved up the leaderboard the last two days. You always want to do that,” Kester said. “It wasn’t our best tournament, but you’ll have a few of those. There were definitely some positives. Now we’ll be back in the Midwest and start preparing for Bradley.”
NIU returns to the course Friday, April 4, when the Huskies travel to Peoria for first and second round play in the Bradley Spring Invitational. Tee time for the first round is set for an 8:30 a.m. Central Time with a shotgun start.
For more information on NIU women’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.