Huskies take seventh in Rio Verde

By Tom Burton

DeKALB — The women’s golf team tallied a seventh place finish Sunday at the Rio Verde Collegiate Invitational after falling to 12th place after the first round of play Friday.

The Huskies shot a disappointing 316 in round one, as they were forced to count an 83 from freshman Sofia Gomez Enriquez Riart. Junior Kelly Anderson paced the pack with an opening-round 76.

NIU bounced back in the last two rounds Saturday and Sunday and worked its way up to seventh place overall in the tournament.

Head Coach Kim Kester said the team had to battle through tough wind conditions but previously noted playing through weather as one of the team’s primary struggles.

“We dug ourselves a hole in round one but bounced back.” Kester said. “We need to do a better job from start to finish.”

In the lowest scoring day among the entire field, the Huskies posted a score of 300, shaving 16 strokes off their day one total.

Kester said the biggest difference in course conditions from Saturday to Sunday was the temperature and the conditions around the greens.

“The tough thing [Sunday] was the pin locations,” Kester said. “They were in some spots where you had no chance of getting it close.”

Anderson shot a second-round score of 73, followed by a 75 from freshman Lauren Ingle and a pair of rounds of 76 from junior Brielle Ward and sophomore Isabella Samudio.

Samudio opened the tournament Friday with a disappointing score of 87 but bounced back and shot 76 in round two and a team-best 72 in round three.

Kester said the team dug themselves out of a hole from Friday’s round one and was happy to see them respond to adversity, particularly Samudio.

“It was great to see Isabella bounce back after her first round,” Kester said. “We know she wasn’t happy with it and really fought hard to get [good rounds] in.”

The Huskies led the field in the three-day tournament with 27 birdies. However, Kester said short game continues to be a struggle.

“There have been some improvements, but we still need to get better,” Kester said. “We saw some improvements throughout the tournament, which is always a positive. We’ll take the next two weeks to refocus and regroup and be ready for Dallas.”

NIU will have an extended break to work out these issues, as it will take on the likes of Brookhaven Country Club March 12 in Dallas.