NIU women’s golf: Huskies claim MAC Match Play title

By Frank Gogola

What happened

Women’s golf captured the 2015 MAC Match Play title as it went 3-0 over the two-day tournament Monday and Tuesday at Lakewood Ranch Country Club in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

How it happened

The No. 4 seed Huskies beat the No. 5 seed Ohio Bobcats, 4-and-1, Monday. Heavy rains forced the second round to be moved to Tuesday, with the matches being shortened from 18 holes to nine holes.

In better conditions Tuesday the Huskies took down the No. 2 seed Western Michigan Broncos, 3.5 & 1.5, in the semifinals. They proceeded to knock off the No. 1 seed Eastern Michigan Eagles, 3 & 2, in the championship match Tuesday.

Junior Samantha Coyne posted a 3-0 mark, sophomores Sydney Brickey and Lena Gautier went 2-0-1, junior Connie Ellett went 2-1 and junior Peyton Gunnison went 0-2-1.

The quotes

“Monday was really, really tough conditions,” Gautier said. “It was a lot of rain. It was really hard to manage staying dry and being able to concentrate on the match. It was kind of distracting. Two rounds the day after it was much better to win and just enjoy the moment.”

“The conditions on the first day, I always enjoyed playing in the rain,” Brickey said. “I find that a lot of people find it distracting [because] it’s a hard thing to do to try to keep everything dry. I just enjoy it. I go out with my brother and play in the rain all the time, and that’s something that we like to do. So, I didn’t really find that distracting.”

“There’s no days off,” said head coach Kim Kester. “They had workouts optional this morning. I had one group at 7 a.m. this morning, and I’ve got the other group right now. We enjoyed it after we won. We got on the plane, jumped back and started working toward Corpus Christi today.”

“Coming out of the winter, our short game is a little rusty, so to speak,” Kester said. “Our focus for the next week and a half is going to be a little pitch shots, wedge shots, trying to control the trajectory level of those. Learning how to play the right shot at the right time; often we would try to play a high shot when we should have played a low shot or vice-versa.”

Up next

The Huskies return to stroke play when they partake in the 2015 Islander Classic 8 a.m. Feb. 23 and 8 a.m. Feb. 24 in Corpus Christi, Texas.