Freshman Ember Schuldt led the Illini at the NCAA Central Regional, finishing with a 54-hole total of 230, 14-over par.
May 7, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
The Illinois (940) women's golf team wrapped up their season on Sunday, placing 19th at the 2011NCAA Central Regional Championships, held at the par-72, 6,208-yard Warren Golf Course. The Illini battled wet conditions, including a two-hour and 12 minute rain delay halfway through the round to finish with a final round 30-over par 318 and concluded the tournament at 76-over par. Freshman Ember Schuldt (230) led the Illini individually, carding a six-over par 78 in the final round and finished tied for 41st at 14-over par. The highlight of Schuldt's round came on her 10th hole, where she chipped in for birdie from just off the green on the par-4 first hole.
"It wasn't exactly what we were looking for, but we accomplished our goal," head coach Renee Slone said of making it to Regionals. "We know what to expect for next year and we'll be able to build on this experience from these past few days, starting tomorrow. Next season starts tomorrow for us. Everything we do this summer and what the team works on individually will prepare us for a great fall and we're looking forward to a very successful season next year."
Junior Samantha Sloan (235) also tallied a six-over par 78 in the third round and finished at 19-over par, with classmate Katelin Dilger (236) finishing one stroke off of Sloan at 20-over par after shooting an eight-over par 80 in the final round. Sloan finished her round off in a positive fashion, chipping in for birdie on her last hole, the par-3 ninth hole. Rounding out the Orange and Blue were juniors Hailey Koschmann (242), who fired a 10-over par 82 and finished at 26-over par, and Nora Lucas (243), who carded a 12-over par 84 and concluded the tournament at 27-over par.
"It was awesome," said Sloan of Schuldt's play. "I was really happy for her and she's been working hard. She's one of the hardest working players on the team, so she deserves it. I'm just proud of her."
UCLA (890) came away with the team championship, finishing the tournament at 26-over par and only four strokes ahead of second-place LSU (894) at 30-over par. Rounding out the top eight teams advancing to the NCAA National Championships were Minnesota (897), Arkansas (899), Notre Dame (901), Ohio State (905), Stanford (908), and Wake Forest (909). Stephanie Kono (2218) of UCLA and LSU's Megan McChrystal (218) tied for individual medalist honors at two-over par.
"It was a great experience, just getting a chance to play at Regionals," Schuldt said. "With us making it this year, it'll just help us to make it in the years to come and make it even farther and qualify for the NCAAs."
Slone and players have already set a goal of making it to the NCAA National Championships next season.
"I think we are certainly capable of advancing to Nationals," Slone said. "I felt that we were capable of this year, we just didn't have a very good tournament. We certainly have some areas that we'll be striving to improve in and we'll be ready to go come September."
19 ILLINOIS 313-309-318 = 940 (+76)
T41 Ember Schuldt 77-75-78 = 230 (+14)
T78 Samantha Sloan 78-79-78 = 235 (+19)
T81 Katelin Dilger 80-76-80 = 236 (+20)
T101 Hailey Koschmann 78-82-82 = 242 (+26)
T105 Nora Lucas 80-79-84 = 243 (+27)