By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — SCAD Savannah (Ga.) sits atop the first regular-season NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Friday. The Bees accumulated 16 first-place votes and 497 points to earn the No. 1 ranking.
This week’s ranking is the Bees fifth No. 1, the third-most all-time behind Oklahoma City (42) and British Columbia (13). SCAD Savannah, which is 4-0 against NAIA Top 25 teams, leads the association in adjusted scoring average (76.69) and ranks ninth in strength of schedule. The Bees boast two of the top three golfers in the NAIA based on scoring average, returning 2013 NAIA First Team All-Americans Alazne Urizar (1st, 72.00) and Sofia Molinaro (3rd, 74.08). The Bees lone event win on the year came at the SCAD Women’s Fall Invitational on October 21 and 22 at the Wilmington Island Club in Savannah, Ga.
Defending national champion Oklahoma City received two first-place votes and 477 points en route to the No. 2 ranking. Elia Folch, the NAIA’s top returning golfer as the 2013 national runner-up and a 2013 First Team All-American, leads the Stars. She currently ranks as the No. 2 golfer in the NAIA based on scoring average (73.82). As a team, the Stars rank third in the NAIA in adjusted scoring average (77.21) and eighth in strength of schedule. Oklahoma City owns one event win on the season, at the Claud Jacobs Intercollegiate on Feb. 16 and 17 at the Club at Colony Creek in Victoria, Texas.
Cumberlands (Ky.) compiled 460 points to earn the No. 3 ranking. The Patriots boast seven event wins on the season, most recently at the Taylormade Adidas Intercollegiate on March 10 and 11 at the Dataw Island Club in Dataw Island, S.C. Liz Stephens, the top golfer for Cumberlands and a 2013 First-Team All-American, ranks fifth in the NAIA in scoring average (75.58). As a team, the Patriots rank fourth nationally in adjusted scoring average (77.31) and fifth in strength of schedule.
No. 4 British Columbia and No. 5 William Woods (Mo.) round out the top five with 454 and 442 points, respectively. The Thunderbirds are the defending national runners-up and hold the sixth-best adjusted scoring average in the NAIA (78.31). The Owls boast two top 10 golfers in Alejandra Ferrer (75.75) and Jodie Peacock (75.75), both returning 2013 Second Team All-Americans. As a team, William Woods owns the NAIA’s second-best adjusted scoring average (77.08) behind No. 1 SCAD Savannah.
Within the poll, No. 8 Victoria (B.C.) made the largest jump, moving up three spots, while former No. 6 Cal State San Marcos (Calif.) fell five positions, landing at No. 11.
No. 25 Madonna (Mich.) was the lone newcomer to the Top 25.
Mount Mercy (Iowa) (No. 25) fell out of the poll.
The Association of Independent Institutions—British Columbia, Victoria, Cal State San Marcos and No. 18 Houston-Victoria (Texas)—and The Sun Conference—SCAD Savannah, No. 6 Northwood (Fla.), No. 14 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 15 USC Beaufort (S.C.)—lead all conferences, independents and unaffiliated groupings with four teams among the Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2013-14 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) Ten different programs have been ranked No. 1 all-time… Oklahoma City leads the NAIA with 42 all-time No. 1 rankings, followed by British Columbia with 13 and SCAD Savannah (Ga.) with five… Two programs have held the No. 1 ranking for an entire season: British Columbia (2001) and Oklahoma City (2003, 04, 07, 08)… SCAD Savannah has been ranked in 54-straight polls since returning to the NAIA in 2003… Oklahoma City has been ranked among the top five in 30-straight polls, including 15 No. 1 rankings, dating back to Feb. 27, 2009…Former-member Mary-Hardin Baylor (Texas) (2000), British Columbia (2001), Oklahoma City (2007, 08) and former-member California Baptist (2011) are the only Preseason No. 1 teams to go on to win the National Championships during the same season.
2013-14 NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 1 (March 14)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||SCAD Savannah (Ga.) (16)||497|
|2||3||Oklahoma City (2)||477|
|5||5||William Woods (Mo.)||442|
|10||10||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||354|
|11||6||Cal State San Marcos||341|
|12||13||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||314|
|15||14||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||280|
|19||19||SCAD Atlanta (Ga.)||204|
|22||23||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||166|
|23||21||William Penn (Iowa)||156|
|24||24||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||134|
Others Receiving Votes: Grand View (Iowa) 87, St. Andrews (N.C.) 70; Campbellsville (Ky.) 55; Mount Mercy (Iowa) 55; Milligan (Tenn.) 25; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 10; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 10; Webber International (Fla.) 7; Marian (Ind.) 7; Spring Hill (Ala.) 6; College of Idaho 4; Columbia (Mo.) 3.
^ 2013-14 NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll