9th Place Big Ten
The Illinois women's golf team continued to show improvement and gain valuable experience during the 2010-11 season, highlighted by some exciting accomplishments. After setting a goal of advancing to the NCAA Regional Championship at the beginning of the season, the Illini set about accomplishing their ultimate goal with hard work and determination throughout the season. The Illini used the successful fall season as a springboard into the spring season, which ended with the third regional appearance in program history.
Illinois once again started off the spring season at the third-annual Illinois Challenge at the Sarasota National Golf Club in Venice, Fla. The Illini won the dual match over in-state rival Illinois State, 8 to 4, for the third consecutive year. Junior Samantha Sloan, who recorded two victories in the Challenge, paced Illinois. For Sloan's efforts, the junior was named the Big Ten Women's Golfer of the Week.
The Orange and Blue then traveled to Valdosta, Ga., for the Kinderlou Forest Challenge. At the first tournament of the spring, the Illini finished in a tie for 10th with a 54-hole total of 938. Ember Schuldt led the Illini individually, carding 10-over par 229, including a two-under par 71 in the final round, to finish in a tie for 17th.
Next, Illinois participated in the JMU Eagle Landing Invitational in Orange Park, Fla. The Illini placed seventh with a total of 908. Junior Hailey Koschmann led all Illini scores, carding a tournament total of 222, six-over par to place 12th individually.
Koschmann continued her strong play during the Illini's spring break trip out west to play in the BYU Entrada Classic. Koschmann tallied her second-consecutive tournament total of 222 to place second individually. As a team, the Illini jumped five spots on the second day to finish in a tie for fourth with a 54-hole total of 926.
Illinois then moved toward the Midwest portion of their spring season, first with the Indiana Invitational, held in Columbus, Ind. With heavy rains delaying the first day of the tournament, play was shortened to 36 holes, the second tournament for the Illini that needed to be cut short. The Illinois golfers didn't let the rain bother them, however, carding a 54-hole total of 619 to finish third out of 15 teams. The Orange and Blue were led by a trio of juniors, with Koschmann, Sloan and Nora Lucas all placing in the top 25 individually. Lucas placed fifth at five-over par, marking the junior's best career finish as an Illini.
In the final tournament before the Big Ten Championships at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, the Illini concluded the regular season with a seventh-place showing. Illinois battled strong winds to card a 54-hole total of 950. Sloan paced the Illini, jumping six spots after the first day to finish tied for 13th at 235.
At the Big Ten Championships, held in Glencoe, Ill., the Illini placed ninth with a 72-hole total of 1237. Schuldt led the Illini, recording a 310 to finish 32nd.
The day after the conference meet, the Illini were selected to play in the NCAA Regional Championships and placed in the Central Regional. This marked the third NCAA Regional appearance for the Illini in school history, and the first since the 2002-03 squad qualified for the NCAA West Regional.
Illinois concluded its season by placing 19th at Regionals with a 54-hole total of 940. Schuldt again led the Illini golfers with a tournament-total of 230, placing in a tie for 41st.