Sophomore Ember Schuldt and the Illini compete at the NCAA West Regional from May 10-12 in Eerie, Colo.
May 9, 2012
ERIE, Colo. - The Illinois women's golf team will travel to Erie, Colo., as they were selected to compete in the 2012 NCAA West Regional Championships. This marks the fourth NCAA Regional berth in program history, and the second straight year the Illini will participate in the postseason event. The 54-hole event will be held at the par-72, 6,575-yard Colorado National Golf Club on May 10-12. Teams will play 18 holes each day, with tee times beginning at 1:55 p.m. CT on Thursday.
"We're really just treating this weekend like any of the other tournaments we've competed in so far this year," head coach Renee Slone said. "We're preparing in a somewhat similar manner."
The Illini will send the same lineup that took part in the NCAA Central Regional a year ago. Competing in the event will be stroke average leader Hailey Koschmann, senior Katelin Dilger and sophomore Ember Schuldt, who have each traveled to every tournament this year. Senior Samantha Sloan, who has participated in all but one tournament, will also make the trip to Colorado, along with senior Nora Lucas, who ranks second on the team in stroke average.
"We're continuing to work on short game and really emphasizing the putts inside six feet, as well as longer putting because it appears that the greens at this particular golf course are on the bigger side," Slone said. "We're also working on more bump-and-runs because we feel that shot could be used this weekend as well."
There are three regional tournaments consisting of 378 total participants, with 24 teams and six individuals not on those teams competing at each site. The low eight teams and two low individuals not on those teams at each site will advance to the finals slated to be played at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., on May 22-25.
"We're really just treating it as another tournament where we're simply going out and playing our very best while staying focused on ourselves," Slone said. "The key to this particular event is finishing in the top eight because that advances the team to the next stage. It doesn't have to be exceptional or unbelievable golf, but just solid and steady golf while sticking to our game plan."
Illinois competed in the 2011 NCAA Central Regional last year, finishing in 19th place with a 54-hole total of 940. Then-freshman Schuldt led the team individually, tying for 41st place after carding a 230.
For coverage of the Illinois women's golf team at the 2012 NCAA West Regional Championships, visit fightingillini.com for a full recap at the end of each day's action. Fans can also follow the action live by going to golfstat.com.
NCAA West Regional Championship Field
San Jose State
Kayla Mortellaro, Idaho
Ally McDonald, Mississippi State
Amy Anderson, North Dakota State
Maggie Yuan, BYU
Brianna Espinoza, Colorado State
Demi Mak, New Mexico State