Women's Golf
Orange and Blue Head to Windy City Collegiate Classic

Sophomore Raquel Hopton will make her season debut at the Windy City Collegiate Classic.
Sophomore Raquel Hopton will make her season debut at the Windy City Collegiate Classic.

Oct. 2, 2008

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois women's golf team travels to Skokie, Ill., to compete in the first annual Windy City Collegiate Classic, hosted by Northwestern, on Oct. 6-7. The 54-hole tournament consists of 36 holes on Monday followed by a final 18 holes on Tuesday, each beginning with a shotgun start at the par-72 6,350-yard Evanston Golf Club.

Freshman Hailey Koschmann has been the Orange and Blue's top performer during the team's first two tournaments. She leads the Illini into the Chicago area after tying for 14th in back-to-back events and firing an opening round 69 at the Badger Invitational, tying the fourth-lowest single round in school history. Senior Nancy Featherstone anchors a young lineup, including sophomore Raquel Hopton, who is making her season debut, and freshmen Nora Lucas and Samantha Sloan. Freshman Abby Cotter will compete as an individual.

"Every person on the team has had the opportunity to travel, so we've got those first tournament jitters out of the way," head coach Renee Slone said. "They have a better idea about how a college tournament works along with the process and timing, so now we can just focus on golf."

Slone wants the team to work on eliminating the big numbers and concentrating on each shot. She also wants to put four solid scores together each round and expects to improve on last weekend's ninth place finish at the Badger Invitational.

"We had some really good individual rounds in Wisconsin and solid practices this week, so hopefully, we can build on those," Slone said. "It is the most competitive field we will have played in so far this year, but we just want to focus on ourselves and put together those four good numbers and have three good rounds as a team."

The 13-team field consists of four Big Ten teams and five top-50 teams, including No. 24 Arizona, East Carolina, Illinois, Iowa State, No. 49 Michigan, Northwestern, Oklahoma, No. 26 Purdue, Texas, No. 42 Texas Christian, Texas State, UNC-Wilmington and No. 27 UNLV.

For coverage of the Illinois women's golf team at the Windy City Collegiate Classic, visit fightingillini.com for a full recap at the end of each day's action. Fans also can follow the action live by visiting fightingillini.com and clicking on the Windy City Collegiate Classic "Livestats" link.