Women’s golf starts on right note

By Frank Gogola

Women’s golf opened the spring portion of its schedule with a plus-.500 record.

The Huskies won two of three matches in the 2014 Match Play on Monday and Tuesday at Lakewood Ranch Country Club in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. The two-day event was the Huskies’ first time teeing off in live action since the 2013 Preview on Oct. 7 and 8 in Fishers, Ind.

NIU, the No. 7 team, dropped a 3-and-1 decision to No. 2 seed Bowling Green Monday.

Of the five matchups against Bowling Green, sophomore Connie Ellett was the only Huskie to walk away with a win. Ellett came back from a four-hole deficit through seven to take down Bailey Arnold, one up.

“Connie did extremely well,” said head coach Kim Kester. “She started off rough in her first match but came back and made the most out of the match. She could have and came back and won her second match as well. Overall, great play out of her.”

The Huskies responded against No. 4 Ohio in the nightcap Monday, downing the Bobcats, 4-and-1.

They got wins from freshmen Lena Gautier and Sydney Brickey and sophomores Samantha Coyne and Ellett.

“Overall, the day was pretty positive,” Kester said. “Ball striking was fantastic. We just gave away a few puts that lost a few holes that ended with us losing a couple matches, but overall, for the day, I feel we did really good.”

In their final action of the tournament, the Huskies took down the No. 8 Cleveland State Vikings, 3.5-and-1.5, Tuesday.

Senior Jenny Niemiec, Ellett, Coyne and Gautier picked up wins in the Huskies’ second day of the tournament.

“Any time you can get out of the snow and play some golf, [that’s] a good thing,” Kester said. “They worked their butts off during the offseason, and it definitely showed this week; they were prepared.

“Their stamina is doing good. Their ball striking is fantastic. The short game is there. Everything is moving in the right direction. They did extremely well. This was the first round of golf since November for some of them, [and] it was definitely great to see. It’s exciting.”

Staff writer Rhema Rhea contributed to this article.