Women’s golf set for Arizona

By Sam Bauman

The women’s golf team will be traveling down to Rio Verde, Ariz., this Friday to compete at the Rio Verde Invitational.

The tournament tees off Friday morning and will go throughout the weekend, ending on Sunday. The Huskies will look to continue their early season success after finishing their last tournament, the Gary Freeman Invitational, second out of six teams. Coach Kim Kester looks to keep this success going this weekend.

“We played well last tournament,” Kester said. “The field is going to be a little bit stronger this time/ We’re playing one more round so we have to focus on not making little mistakes and on putting ourselves in [a] good scoring position.”

The Huskies have a relatively young team, with five freshman and two sophomores on the roster. Kester said the Huskies should try and keep it simple this weekend.

“[We have to] keep the ball in the play,” Kester said. “We need to hit the greens, and put ourselves in good positions on the green, and we [need] to stay below the hole.”

This game plan will be central to the success of NIU as it faces 16 other teams this weekend.

The Huskies will look for the continued success of player Allie Parthie, who finished second at the Gary Freeman Invitational, and who has had four top five finishes this season. Parthie’s play will be crucial to the success of the team this weekend.

Parthie’s play has been consistently strong all season long, but for the Huskies to place high as a team they are looking for improved play from all the girls.

“[We need] scores lower. We want to see team scores in the 310s instead of in the 320s; we want more of the girls scoring lower and less puts,” Kester said.

Part of the success for the upcoming tournament will come from continued strong play from Connie Ellett and Taylor Ellett. Connie finished the Gary Freeman Invitational tied for 11th with fellow Huskie Jenny Niemiec. For Connie, it was her third time finishing in the top 12 for the season. Taylor finished the Gary Freeman tied for sixth place, marking her first top 10 finish this season.

After the Rio Verde Invitational, NIU plays on March 24 and 25 at Las Vegas in the Bucknell Women’s Golf Invite.