The ping of a club striking a ball will be heard this weekend (March 26-27) as the Ferris State University women's golf team opens its 2011 spring season schedule at the Northern Kentucky Invitational in Perry Park, Ky.
The two-day tournament will be conducted on the par 72, 5,819-yard Perry Park Golf Course with Northern Kentucky University serving as the tourney host.
"The ladies are really excited to get going," said FSU fourth-year head coach Mike Mignano. "We improved with every tournament in the fall and hope to build upon that momentum gained this spring. The team has been working hard indoors this winter so we now get an opportunity to see just how much time and effort spent has helped us.
"Our (Super Region 1) region is a competitive one as there's about five or six teams competing for three NCAA Tournament spots and we're certainly capable earning a berth provided we play our best golf," added Mignano.
This past fall, Ferris State finished fifth place or higher in three of its five tournaments highlighted by a first-place showing at the Lake Superior State Invitational (Sept. 11-12) with a two-round 642 team score.
The Bulldogs will open play at the Northern Kentucky Invitational fielding a lineup of freshman Jacqueline DeBoer (Grand Rapids/South Christian), junior Bryce Hetchler (Clinton Township/Fraser), junior Erin Fuchik (Tulsa, Okla./Bishop Kelley), freshman Emily Rohdy (Farwell), and junior Blaize Baumgartner (Perry). Juniors Brooke Rodes (Traverse City/West), Breezy Bernth (Greenville), and Cooper Shawen (Bolingbrook, Ill./Neuqua Valley) will also participate as non-scoring individuals.
Jacqueline DeBoer currently leads the team with a 79.78 scoring average (718 total strokes) in nine rounds while Bryce Hetcher's 80.45 strokes per round average (885 total strokes) in 11 rounds is second best among the team's strokes leaders.
Following the Northern Kentucky Invitational, the Bulldogs' next tournament is slated for April 2-3 at the Ohio Dominican Invitational in Pataskala, Ohio. FSU will also play a dual match against Grand Valley State on April 9 followed by play at the Detroit Titans Invitational (April 11-12) and at the Northwood Invitational (April 16-17). The 2011 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships will be held April 22-23 at Ashland, Ohio.
A season ago, Ferris State recorded a seventh-place showing at the 2010 NCAA Division II Super Regional One (May 2-4) in Springfield, Mo., with a three-round 969 team stroke total.