Huskies take fourth at Redbird Invite

NIU opens fall competition slate just short of medal finish


Courtesy NIU Athletics

Sophomore Renata Peterson follows through on a swing.

DeKALB — A pair of top-20 finishes by two NIU juniors helped the women’s golf team claim fourth place at the Redbird Invitational to open its Fall 2022 schedule in Normal.

NIU earned a team score of 44-over par 908 in its first fall outing. The Huskies finished five strokes behind Loyola University Chicago and two strokes ahead of Bowling Green State University, a Mid-American Conference rival.

Head coach Kim Kester said the team played under difficult conditions over the weekend.

“(There were) about 20 to 30 mile an hour winds and rain and cold temperatures,” Kester said. “They certainly stuck through the challenges of everything.”

Kester also noted that a lack of summer playing experience for the team contributed to NIU’s slow start at the tournament.

”Once we got our bearings there, we were doing a lot better,” Kester said. “But we made too many bogeys and too many big numbers this weekend.”

Junior Jasmine Ly, the reigning MAC champion, spearheaded NIU’s efforts over the weekend. Ly hit a team-low eight-over par to finish in a four-way tie for eighth place.

Junior Emily Romancew was one stroke behind Ly, recording a score of nine-over par. Romancew was tied with four other golfers for ninth place.

The Huskies shot a first round score of 17-over par 306 to tie with Drake University for sixth place. Their ensuing 10-over par outing in the second round brought NIU up to fifth place on the team leaderboard.

Entering Monday’s final round, NIU was two strokes behind Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The Huskies were able to leapfrog IUPUI to earn fourth place, just shy of a medal finish.

Butler University championed the tournament after overtaking last year’s champion, Eastern Kentucky University, in the final holes with a score of 34-over par 898. Butler sophomore Reese Wilson took home individual honors at one-under par. Wilson was the only golfer in the field to hit under-par.

The Huskies’ have kicked off their fall campaigns at the Redbird Invitational two years in a row. NIU medalled in last season’s tournament with a third-place finish and 54-hole team score of 23-over par.

The full results from the Redbird Invitational are available on GolfStat.

Second-year making strides

Sophomore Jóhanna Lea Lúðvíksdóttir was NIU’s third-highest finisher at the Redbird Invitational. Lúðvíksdóttir, a native of Reykjavik, Iceland, tied for 20th at 11-over par. She made her collegiate debut at last year’s Redbird Invitational, where she tied for 25th on the individual leaderboard.

Kester praised Lúðvíksdóttir’s performance and her ability to handle the challenging conditions over the weekend.

“Jo did really well,” Kester said. “I think she’ll have a really good year. “Handling the elements, it was kind of like another back home for her today,”

Newcomer makes starting debut

Graduate student Sydney Naro made her first appearance on NIU’s starting lineup over the weekend. She played the No. 2 spot on the lineup behind Ly.

Naro’s Huskie debut ended in a six-way tie for 36th place. Her final score for the weekend was 17-over par 233.

“The sky’s the limit for her this year,” Kester said. “We saw a lot of good things and we know some things we’re going to work on going forward.”

Naro joined the Huskies after spending four seasons with the Michigan State University Spartans.

On to the next round

The team has a short turnaround before its next outing Sunday. Kester said the team plans on using its two practice days to key in on the short game and the team’s ability to handle pressure, among other things.

NIU will return to the green Sunday for the first round of the three-day-long Coeur d’Alene Collegiate Invitational hosted by Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Live results can be monitored here.