Daily Egyptian

Saluki women place fifth in first spring tournament

By Nathan Dodd, Sports Editor

Following a four-month layoff from competition, the SIU women’s golf team traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in the Battle at Boulder Creek.

In the two-day tournament, the Salukis posted a 36-hole score of 932, good enough for fifth place. Only five strokes separated the Salukis from the second-place Northern Illinois Huskies.

The tournament marked the first time that the Salukis played all 36 holes of an event since the MVC Preview on Oct. 16-17.

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“It definitely tested my endurance,” senior Hanna Netisingha said. “We haven’t played 36 holes since the MVC Preview so I’m feeling it and I’m tired right now, but it’s the good kind of tired.”

Netisingha led the Salukis squad with the best overall finish. With scores of 77, 77 and 74, she tied for fifth in the individual standings.

“It was definitely strange trying to get back into tournament mode,” the Saluki senior said of her fifth-place finish. “I didn’t get to play as much as I wanted to the last couple of months, so coming back and being able to perform was a big accomplishment for me.”

Close behind in the standings was sophomore Erica Kerr, who competed as an individual golfer in the tournament. Kerr improved in each round with scores of 80, 76 and 74.

According to head coach Alexis O’Brien, Kerr could be on her way to earning a starting position.

A third Saluki finished in the top 10, as freshman Emilyee McGiles tied for ninth with a total score of 232.

“It’s rare to have three in the top 10 and not place first or second as a team,” O’Brien said. “If we ever get all five players playing good at the same time for a tournament, we will be really hard to beat.”

Rounding out the Saluki scorecard was senior Alice Ho, sophomore Lili Klekner-Alt and freshman Moyea Russell. Ho finished in a tie for 26th, Klekner-Alt finished 29th and Russell tied for 32nd in the individual standings.

“I’ve been really proud of the underclassmen this year,” Netisingha said. “I think our core is very strong and we have a deep team. We just need to get better at believing in ourselves and trusting ourselves.”

Up next, the Salukis will travel to Phoenix, Arizona to compete in the GCU Invitational. The tournament will be hosted at Grand Canyon University Golf Course and will take place on Feb. 24-25.

Sports editor Nathan Dodd can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @NathanMDodd.

To stay up to date with all your SIU sports news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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