By Nikki Sherrill, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the second-straight season, Keiser (Fla.) has been voted the 2017 preseason No. 1 team for NAIA women’s golf, the national office announced on Friday. With 18 first place votes and 498 total points, the two-time defending national champions remain the top team in the country.
The Seahawks welcome back four NAIA All-Americans, including last year’s individual national runner-up, Elsa Westin. Head coach Brandon Miller was also named NAIA Coach of the Year after leading his team to back-to-back national championships. The Seahawks start their campaign for a three-peat on Sept. 19 at the Webber Invitational in Lake Wales, Fla.
Top 25 highlights (historical information dates back to 1999):
• Keiser (Fla.), formerly Northwood (Fla.), is the preseason favorite for the third time. Last season, the Seahawks were ranked in the top two spots all season and ended No. 1 in the final poll.
• National runners-up, William Woods (Mo.) and SCAD Atlanta (Ga.), are ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the poll.
• Last year’s national individual champion, Kaitlyn Riley, is back for another season with Cumberlands (Ky.) who is ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll.
• Two newcomers make their way into the poll after receiving votes to end last season. Faulkner (Ala.) comes in at No. 23 and Lawrence Tech (Mich.) is the final spot at No. 25.
• The top 10 remained the same as the postseason poll with only USC Beaufort (S.C.) moving up two spots to No. 6, Dalton State (Ga.) moving back to No. 7 and Texas Wesleyan sliding down to No. 8.
• The positive movement was led by Marian (Ind.), who moved up two spots to No. 20.
• Twelve of the 21 conference/Association of Independent Institutions are represented.
• The Sun Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference both have the most schools on the poll with four each. For the Sun Conference, No. 1 Keiser, No. 3 SCAD Savannah, No. 6 USC Beaufort and No. 18 Thomas (Ga.) all made the list. In the Southern States Athletic Conference, No. 7 Dalton State (Ga.), No 13 William Carey (Miss.), No. 16 Coastal Georgia and No. 23 Faulkner (Ala.) are present as well.
• The Sooner Athletic Conference and the Appalachian Athletic Conference both had three ranked teams
• Only three teams have gone the entire season ranked No. 1 – British Columbia (2001) Oklahoma City (2003, 2004, 2006, 2008) and Northwood (Fla.) (2015).
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
• The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
• The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
• Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”
• The frequency of polls occur bi-weekly for the 2016-17 season.
• For the complete Top 25 calendar, click here.
2016-17 Women’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Preseason (Aug. 26)
|RANK||LAST||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Keiser (Fla.) (18)||498|
|2||2||William Woods (Mo.)||473|
|3||3||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||467|
|6||8||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||397|
|7||6||Dalton State (Ga.)||395|
|9||9||SCAD Atlanta (Ga.)||385|
|T11||11||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||316|
|13||14||William Carey (Miss.)||309|
|21||20||William Penn (Iowa)||180|
|25||RV||Lawrence Tech (Mich.)||92|
Dropped from the Top 25: Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (RV); Mobile (Ala.) (RV)
Others receiving votes: Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 89; Southeastern (Fla.) 85; Bethel (Ind.) 49; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 40; Mobile (Ala.) 39; Madonna (Mich.) 32; Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 14; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 10; College of Idaho 8; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 8; Cumberland (Tenn.) 6; Morningside (Iowa) 4; Tennessee Wesleyan 4; St. Thomas (Texas) 3.