Illinois women’s golf confident heading into Hoosier Fall Invitational

Just one week after Illinois’ first victory at the Diane Thomason Invitational, the Illini hope to achieve another this weekend at the Hoosier Fall Invitational. With the recent win, the team’s confidence level is high.

“I think that we are so excited and so motivated to win again, that each one of us is putting forth a great effort and hard work,” freshman Emily Joers said.

Despite the success, there’s always room for improvement. In this case, it’s the individual work that needs some attention. Tuesday’s practice consisted of each team member creating their own practice plan. While Joers enjoys the team practices, the most beneficial ones are the solo ones.

“Days that we get to do our individual work I think help me the most, because I get to work on what I need to for as long as I want,” Joers said.

Fellow teammate junior Sam Postillion also shares this thought, as she said, “We all individually saw where our flaws were over the weekend.” 

Something that everyone competing will need to take advantage of, though, is the practice round, since the team has not yet seen or played at the Hickory Stick Golf Club.

“It’ll be really important to just hit a lot of different shots while we’re in our practice round to get a feel for the speed of green and just if we need to club up on certain holes,” Postillion said.

Even so, head coach Renee Slone doesn’t feel this would give her team a disadvantage at the Indiana-hosted competition. From what she could find from the golf club’s website, the course’s set-up is similar to that of the Stone Creek Golf Club in Urbana, so Thursday’s practice is planned to take place there. As for whether any opposing team could challenge the Illini, Slone said it’s still too early in the season to tell. 

“Since we play our sport on a different golf course every single time, every team has a great opportunity,” Slone said. “So for most schools so far, they may have only played three tournaments, some maybe only two tournaments, so far this season.”

However, both Slone and Joers feel Purdue is a threat for them this weekend, but they still feel the team has what it takes to capture another win. 

To attain another victory, Illinois must defeat 14 other teams, five of which are Big Ten teams. This weekend’s roster will consist of juniors Erin Ahern and Postillion, freshmen Joers and Stephanie Miller, and senior Ember Schuldt. Junior Jackie Calamaro will also make the trip to the tournament, where she will compete as an individual.

Ashley can be reached at [email protected] and @wijangco12.