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 fourth-straight edition, the national office announced Friday. The Bees accumulated 15 first-place votes and 466 points to earn the No. 1 ranking.
This week’s ranking is the Bees seventh No. 1, the third-most all-time behind Oklahoma City (42) and British Columbia (13). SCAD Savannah leads the NAIA in adjusted scoring average (77.11) and ranks tenth in strength of schedule. Three Bees golfers rank among the top 20 nationally in scoring average: senior Alazne Urizar (1st, 73.55), sophomore Sofia Molinaro (4th, 75.06) and freshman Mariona Maeso (20th, 77.81). The Bees began postseason play with the first round of The Sun Conference (TSC) Championship on April 11, after completing their regular season with a win at the Old South Triangular at Old South Golf Links in Bluffton, S.C., on March 28.
Defending national champion Oklahoma City received two first-place votes and 453 points to earn its third-straight No. 2 ranking. The Stars boast a 5-0 record against NAIA Top 25 teams and rank second nationally in adjusted scored average (77.72), while placing seventh in strength of schedule. Defending national runner-up Elia Folch leads the Stars as the NAIA’s No. 2 golfer this season with an adjusted scoring average of 74.52. She has recorded an NAIA-best 55 birdies this year. Oklahoma City awaits the Sooner Athletic Conference Championships on April 21-22 after concluding its regular season with a fourth-place finish at the Kansas City Shootout on April 7. The Stars placed behind NCAA Division I schools Wichita State, South Dakota State and North Dakota State in their final regular season tournament.
Cumberlands (Ky.) compiled 427 points to earn the No. 3 ranking for the third-straight edition. The Patriots, who are 5-0 against NAIA Top 25 teams, boast an NAIA-best nine event wins on the year including four during the spring season. As a team, the Patriots rank fourth nationally in adjusted scoring average (78.54) and third in strength of schedule. Cumberlands’ top golfer, junior Bri-Anne Tokariwski, ranks 24th nationally in scoring average (78.20). The Patriots will return to the course for the Mid-South Conference Championship on April 21-23.
No. 4 British Columbia and No. 5 Northwood (Fla.) round out the top five for the second-straight week with 423 and 400 points, respectively. The defending national runner-up Thunderbirds are 1-0 against NAIA Top 25 teams and hold a 78.70 adjusted scoring average, fifth among NAIA programs. The Seahawks hold the sixth-best adjusted scoring average in the NAIA (78.86) and a 9-1 record against ranked NAIA opponents. Northwood began TSC Championship play on April 11 and will conclude on April 15, while British Columbia will play in the A.I.I. Championship April 27-28.
No team moved more than one position within the poll.
No. 23 SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) and No. 25 Concordia (Ore.) each returned to the poll after a one-week hiatus.
St. Andrews (N.C.) (No. 22) and Madonna (Mich.) (No. 25) fell out of the Top 25.
The Association of Independent Institutions—British Columbia, No. 10 Victoria (B.C.), No. 13 Cal State San Marcos (Calif.) and No. 17 Houston-Victoria (Texas)—and The Sun Conference—SCAD Savannah, Northwood, No. 9 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 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 seven… 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 56-straight polls since returning to the NAIA in 2003… Oklahoma City has been ranked among the top five in 32-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. 3 (April 11)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||SCAD Savannah (Ga.) (15)||466|
|2||2||Oklahoma City (2)||453|
|6||6||William Woods (Mo.)||398|
|11||11||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||317|
|12||12||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||312|
|13||13||Cal State San Marcos||294|
|T14||15||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||273|
|20||21||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||168|
|22||23||William Penn (Iowa)||151|
|23||RV||SCAD Atlanta (Ga.)||123|
|24||24||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||111|
Others Receiving Votes: Madonna (Mich.) 70; Milligan (Tenn.) 61; Campbellsville (Ky.) 54; Thomas (Ga.) 31; Tennessee Wesleyan 30; Grand View (Iowa) 29; Marian (Ind.) 26; William Carey (Miss.) 19; Columbia (Mo.) 15; St. Andrews (N.C.) 12; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 7; Mount Mercy (Iowa) 3.