By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — SCAD Savannah (Ga.) sits atop the NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the third-straight edition, the national office announced Friday. The Bees accumulated 14 first-place votes and 405 points to earn the No. 1 ranking.
This week’s ranking is the Bees sixth 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 (76.99) and ranks tenth in strength of schedule. Senior Alazne Urizar, the NAIA’s top golfer based on scoring average (72.80), leads the Bees. Two other SCAD Savannah golfers also rank among the top 20 nationally in scoring average, sophomore Sofia Molinaro (3rd, 74.80) and freshman Mariona Maeso (19th, 77.87). This weekend, the Bees are competing in their final regular-season tournament—the Old South Triangular at the Old South Golf Links in Bluffton, S.C.—before The Sun Conference Championship.
Defending national champion Oklahoma City received one first-place vote and 389 points en route to back-to-back No. 2 rankings. Led by the NAIA’s top returning golfer and 2013 national runner-up, Elia Folch, the Stars boast a 4-0 record against NAIA Top 25 teams. Oklahoma City also ranks second nationally in adjusted scored average (77.27) while placing seventh in strength of schedule. Folch is the NAIA’s No. 2 golfer this season with an adjusted scoring average of 73.68. She has recorded an NAIA-best 40 birdies, en route to an NAIA-best average of 3.50 strokes under par per round this year. The Stars will return to the course on Monday, March 31, for the Houston Baptist Husky Invitational at the Riverbend Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas.
Cumberlands (Ky.) compiled 374 points to earn the No. 3 ranking for the second-straight edition. The Patriots, who are 4-0 against NAIA Top 25 teams, boast an NAIA-best eight event wins on the season. Cumberlands has won each of its three spring tournaments, and owns five-straight event wins dating back to the St. Catharine (Ky.) Invite on Oct. 14-15, 2013. Two Cumberlands golfers rank among the top 20 in the NAIA in scoring average, Liz Stephens (11th, 77.00) and Bri-Anne Tokariwski (17th, 77.63). As a team, the Patriots rank third nationally in adjusted scoring average (77.53) and fourth in strength of schedule.
No. 4 British Columbia and No. 5 Northwood (Fla.) round out the top five with 371 and 352 points, respectively. The defending national runner-up Thunderbirds are 1-0 against NAIA Top 25 teams and hold a 78.58 adjusted scoring average, fifth among NAIA programs. The Seahawks hold the sixth-best adjusted scoring average in the NAIA (78.87) and a 9-1 record against ranked NAIA opponents.
Within the poll, No. 10 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) made the largest jump, moving up four spots, while former No. 12 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) fell three positions, landing at No. 15.
No. 20 Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) and No. 22 St. Andrews (N.C.) were the newcomers to the poll this week.
Concordia (Ore.) (No. 16) and SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) (No. 19) fell out of the Top 25.
The Association of Independent Institutions—British Columbia, No. 9 Victoria (B.C.), No. 13 Cal State San Marcos (Calif.) and No. 17 Houston-Victoria (Texas)—and The Sun Conference—SCAD Savannah, Northwood, Embry-Riddle and No. 12 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 six… 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 55-straight polls since returning to the NAIA in 2003… Oklahoma City has been ranked among the top five in 31-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. 2 (March 28)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||SCAD Savannah (Ga.) (14)||405|
|2||2||Oklahoma City (1)||389|
|6||5||William Woods (Mo.)||335|
|11||10||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||270|
|12||15||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||264|
|13||11||Cal State San Marcos||256|
|15||12||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||245|
|21||24||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||142|
|22||RV||St. Andrews (N.C.)||125|
|23||23||William Penn (Iowa)||123|
|24||22||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||104|
Others Receiving Votes: Tennessee Wesleyan 72; Campbellsville (Ky.) 64; SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) 47; Mount Mercy (Iowa) 45; Thomas (Ga.) 33; Marian (Ind.) 16; Loyola (La.) 13; Grand View (Iowa) 7; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 4, Columbia (Mo.) 3, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 3, William Carey (Miss.) 3.