Ember Schuldt and the Illini hope to add a fifth consecutive win over the ISU Redbirds at the Illinois Challenge on Sunday as both teams open their 2013 spring seasons in Venice, Fla.
Jan. 31, 2013
VENICE, Fla. - Following a valuable transition period in the fall season, the Illinois women's golf team look to aggregate their individual improvements from the fall season and put together a successful spring season in 2013. Having lost five seniors last year, the Orange and Blue are on the younger side, but nonetheless remain confident and optimistic about actualizing their goal of producing an accomplished spring season.
The Illini will commence their spring season in Venice, Fla. where the team will contend for its fifth consecutive victory over Illinois State in the fifth-annual Illinois Challenge on Sunday, February 3. The annual event will be played at the par-72, 5,094-yard Venice Golf & Country Club and will feature a dual meet against Illinois State. At the meet, the two contending teams will compete in four ball matches before golfers from each school go head-to-head in the individual matches in an all-day event.
"The Illinois Challenge is a nice way for us to jump start the spring season before we play in our first full-field event," head coach Renee Slone said. "It provides us with an opportunity to see where we're at -- what we are doing well and what we need to work on in the next couple of weeks before heading to Arizona for our first tournament event."
Without the seasoned senior core of last year, the Orange and Blue will likely seek guidance from the experienced junior Ember Schuldt as well as the fall season's average stroke leader Samantha Postillion. Ember has played in every tournament for Illinois during her college career while Samantha was Illinois' top finisher in three out of five fall 2012 tournaments. Both athletes were said to have had productive off-seasons further developing their talents and preparing for the spring season.
"Sam was out in Arizona during winter break and she actually played in some tournaments so she got some competitive rounds in," Slone noted. "Pimploy Thirati went home to Thailand and got plenty of practice while she was there and Ember made a road trip as well when she headed south to get in some rounds before the beginning of the spring season. Everybody had an opportunity to get plenty of practice in, some players got competitive rounds in as well, so we should be ready to go."
Three weeks after the Illinois Challenge, the Illini will begin its spring tournament season on Feb. 24 at the Westbrook Spring Invite in Peoria, Ariz. hosted by the University of Wisconsin.
Complete results and a detailed recap of the Illinois Challenge will be posted on fightingillini.com Monday morning following the close of the dual meet on Sunday night.