Women's Golf Completes Final Tune-Up Before HL Championships

Kayla Stueland led UIC in both rounds of the Loyola Invitational.
Kayla Stueland led UIC in both rounds of the Loyola Invitational.

April 21, 2013

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CHICAGO - Competing as an individual, sophomore women's golfer Kayla Stueland put together her best tournament of the spring season, shooting a two-round total of 169 (84-85) to finish in a fourth-place tie in the two-day Loyola Invitational at the Golf Club of Illinois. Freshman Caitlan Smollenalso finished in the top-10, carding back-to-back rounds of 85.

Stueland hadn't posted a round in the 80s since the fall season, but led the Flames on both days of the Loyola Invite. Meanwhile, Smollen tallied her fifth-straight round in the 80s to collect her first collegiate top-10 finish. Sophomore Cherise Mangalshot a two-round total of 174 (86-88) to finish in a 10th-place tie.

"The course played very difficult today, but I was disappointed that we lost ground to Loyola and Green Bay," said head coach Carol Rhoades. "We struggled to put two solid nine-hole rounds together this weekend. The good thing is that I think we figured some things out on the back nine today which should have us ready for next week.

"Kayla's (Stueland) scores did not count because she was playing as an individual, but she played very consistently all weekend. I was also very pleased with the Caitlan Smollen'sperformance. She has matured as a golfer in a great deal the last month, and we look forward to her being a major contributor in our program going forward."

Sophomore transfer Ryann Gilley shook off an opening round 93 on Saturday to shoot a 14-over-par 85 in Sunday's final round. Sophomore Casey Hahn shot 87-92, while sophomore Elizabeth Curtisscarded a two-round total of 180 (89-91). As a team, UIC shot 696 on the weekend, and was just four strokes behind Horizon League member Green Bay during Sunday's final round.

Host Loyola won the event by shooting a two-round team total of 666 (336-330). Individual medalist honors went to the Ramblers' April Ohlendorf, who carded a 16-over-par 158 (80-78).

UIC will compete in the Horizon League Championships at Mission Inn Golf & Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., next weekend (April 26-28). Check back to for exclusive coverage and interviews from the annual event.

"We're looking forward to the favorable weather in Florida this week, and are excited for the challenge," Rhoades said. "This event is what we've worked toward since last fall."