Illini Win Fifth-Straight Illinois Challenge
Feb. 3, 2013
VENICE, Fla. – The Illinois women's golf team opened the 2013 spring season with its fifth successive victory in the Illinois Challenge, defeating Illinois State 6-3 in a challenge that was cut short to ensure both teams made a safe return trip home. For the first time in five years, the match play event was conducted at the par-72, 6,980-yard Venice Golf & Country Club in Venice, Fla., and was comprised of four ball matches in the morning followed by individual matches between the two teams in the afternoon.
“We're very pleased with how hard the girls worked out there,” assistant coach Jackie Szymoniak said. “The team never let up and tried to finish up the event in time with a good fight. We can walk away happy with the way our team started the spring season.”
In the initial four ball matches, the Illini accumulated one out of the three possible points. Sophomore Pimploy Thirati along with redshirt sophomore Jacqueline Calamaro played soundly with a victory over their ISU opponents (3 & 2). On the other hand, teammates Ember Schuldt and Erin Ahern fell just short of victory (2 & 1), while redshirt sophomore Samantha Postillion and redshirt senior Kaitlyn Wampler also fell to their Illinois State adversaries in a similar fashion (2 & 1).
Following the morning four ball matches, the Illini were victorious in four out of the six individual matches and tied the other two to earn five additional points in the afternoon portion of the challenge. Calamaro (5 & 4), Postillion (7 & 6), and Thirati (4 & 2) all recorded wins for the Illini along with sophomore teammate Michelle Mayer, whose round was cut short while she was one up through seventeen. Ember Schuldt and senior teammate Crystal Smith also had their rounds cut short. Both matches were even through sixteen holes, so each team received half a point for the ties. With five individual points in the afternoon, the Orange and Blue were able to secure a fifth-consecutive victory at the Illinois Challenge over the Redbirds by a margin of 6-3.
Illinois will open its spring tournament season on Feb. 24 at the Westbrook Spring Invite in Peoria, Ariz.
Illinois Challenge Results:
Four-Ball Round (ISU led 2-1)
Singles Matches (Illinois led 5-1)