NORMAL -- Sparked by a couple of unsung freshmen, the Rend Lake College Lady Warriors turned in a record-setting performance over the weekend in the Illinois Wesleyan University Fall Classic at Ironwood Golf Club.
Coach Cindy Corn’s squad represented the only two-year program in the 23-team field but finished ninth overall thanks to a four-player, 36-hole total of 636. That was 10 shots better than the previous best effort by the national qualifying-2000 RLC contingent, which was good enough then for second in this same tournament.
The Lady Warrior round of 316 on Sunday likewise was good for a school record in the fifth year for the program.
Ashley Hemann (Highland) led the Juco entry at 81-75--156, 19th overall in the 130-player field. Hemann entered the two-day event as the No. 5 player on her team.
The No. 4 player, Casey Biddinger (Lafayette, IN / McCutcheon H.S.), was not far behind Hemann with her 80-79--159 over the par-72 layout.
Season-long pacesetter Danielle Kaufman (Nashville), another freshman, led the Lady Warriors after Saturday’s initial 18 before slipping somewhat the next day and finishing at 78-82--160. Sophomore Carrie Paul (Farina / Flora High School) followed with scores of 81-80--161.
In the play-six, count-four format, both freshman Mia van Rooyen (South Africa) and sophomore Heather Guest (Nashville) contributed rounds that could have counted. Two of the three 81s on Saturday figured in the scoring, when van Rooyen carded 81-83--164, while 82 was the fourth score to count on Sunday as Guest finished 87-82--169.
NCAA Division III contender DePauw University (IN) claimed its second tourney title in a row with its best-ever 301-308--609 total. The defending IWU Fall Class champions finished three strokes ahead of NCAA Division II Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and 12 ahead of their nearest D-III rival. SIUE’s 309-303--612 tally was a 46 strokes under its school record.
Amy Wenning of the University of Indianapolis took medalist honors with her even-par 70-74--144. DePauw’s Jessica Schneider, medalist the previous weekend when the Tigers won the Southern Indiana Invitational, settled for runner-up honors this time despite school records of 71 in the first round and 145 overall.
Wenning’s winning total broke the Fall Classic mark of 72-76--148 set in 2000 by Lady Warrior ace Bobbie Jo Bivens. The second-year RLC program led by Bivens established the school standard at Illinois Wesleyan that fall with its 326-320--646.
Corn was pleased with the record-setting effort while admitting, "You are never happy with a ninth-place finish."
"This team has by far the most talent of any team we have ever had here. It has the most capability. It is just a matter of when are we going to put it all together?" added Corn.
"Our top players didn’t shoot as well as they are capable of shooting, but Ashley and Casey really came through for us with good rounds. That’s a good sign."
Freshman Fallon Settle (Evansville, IN / Reitz H.S.), who usually plays in the top five, did not make the trip.
1. DePauw University (IN) 301 - 308 -- 609
2. Southern Illinois U.-Edwardsville 309 - 303 -- 612
3. University of Indianapolis (IN) 305 - 312 -- 617
4. U. of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 306 - 315 -- 621
5. U. of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 312 - 312 -- 624
6. Quincy University 306 - 319 -- 625
7. Illinois Wesleyan University 318 - 312 -- 630
8. U. of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 309 - 322 -- 631
9. REND LAKE COLLEGE 320 - 316 -- 636
10. Rhodes College (TN) 645
St. Ambrose University (IA) 645
12. U. of Wisconsin-Platteville 657
13. Truman State University (MO) 659
14. Augustana College 662
15. Millikin University 668
U. of Wisconsin-Whitewater 668
17. Franklin College (IN) 671
18. Carthage College (WI) 672
19. Illinois College 692
20. Illinois Wesleyan University “B” 696
21. Knox College 697
22. Monmouth College 712
23. North Central College 721