By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Northwood (Fla.) claims the No. 1 ranking in the 2014-15 NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Friday. The Seahawks, who are making their first appearance at No. 1 dating back to 2000, garnered 10 first-place votes and 457 points en route to the top billing.
Northwood, which finished eighth at the 2014 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln, Neb., has three wins during the fall season including a one-stroke victory at the NAIA Championship Preview on Oct. 27 – 28. The Seahawks carded a 36-hole score of 605 (296 – 309) at the Savannah Quarters Country Club in Savannah, Ga. Northwood’s Elsa Westin won the event, shooting a 6-under-par 138.
Defending national runner-up SCAD Savannah (Ga.) checks in at No. 2 with one first-place vote and 444 total points. The Bees have also had a strong fall, finishing in the top five in four events. 2013 First Team All-Americans Sofia Molinaro and Alanze Urizar highlight the returners for SCAD Savannah.
No. 3 William Woods (Mo.) jumps up one spot from the 2014 Postseason Poll to No. 3 with four first-place votes and 433 points. The Owls, who finished in third place at last year’s championships, won all four events they played this fall.
Rounding out the top five are No. 4 Oklahoma City with two first-place votes and 430 points and No. 5 British Columbia with 410 points.
The Stars won its seventh all-time title in dramatic fashion last season, downing SCAD Savannah in a playoff. Oklahoma City trailed the Bees by five shots entering the final hole. The scoring trio of Anna Mikish, Kailey Campbell and Caroline Goodin played the 18th-hole 2-under-par for Oklahoma City, while SCAD Savannah’s golfers shot 1-over-par. As a team, Oklahoma City carded a four-round 1,209 (304-304-306-295) to win the title.
Nine newcomers joined the Top 25 in the preseason edition – No. 9 Houston-Victoria (Texas), No. 10 Dalton State (Ga.), No. 13 Wayland Baptist (Texas), No. 16 William Carey (Miss.), No. 18 Mobile (Ala.), No. 19 Thomas (Ga.) No. 20 Oklahoma Baptist, No. 23 Southeastern (Fla.) and No. 24 Cumberland (Tenn.).
Dalton State highlights the newcomers, as the Roadrunners hold their first-ever Top 25 ranking in its first year of poll eligibility. Dalton State finished among the top five in all four events in competed in this fall, including runner-up finishes at the Coastal Georgia Invitational in Jekyll Island, Ga., on Sept. 15 – 16 and the Chick-Fil-A Collegiate Invitational in Rome, Ga., on Oct. 20 – 21.
The Sun Conference – Northwood, SCAD Savannah, No. 8 USC Beaufort (S.C.), No. 14 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), No. 19 Thomas (Ga.) and No. 23 Southeastern (Fla.) – lead all conferences, Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) and unaffiliated groupings with five teams among the Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, A.I.I. and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2014-15 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
Notes: (All information as of 2000) Eleven different programs have been ranked No. 1 all-time… No. 1 Northwood (Fla.) is making its first-ever appearance in the top spot … Oklahoma City leads the NAIA with 43 all-time No. 1 rankings, followed by British Columbia with 13 and SCAD Savannah (Ga.) with eight… 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 59-straight polls since returning to the NAIA in 2003… Oklahoma City has been ranked among the top five in 35-straight polls, including 16 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.
2014-15 NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll (Nov. 7)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||8||Northwood (Fla.) (10)||457|
|2||2||SCAD Savannah (Ga.) (1)||444|
|3||4||William Woods (Mo.) (4)||433|
|4||1||Oklahoma City (2)||430|
|8||17||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||374|
|10||NR||Dalton State (Ga.)||332|
|12||14||Cal State San Marcos||304|
|13||NR||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||290|
|16||NR||William Carey (Miss.)||230|
|22||16||William Penn (Iowa)||157|
Others receiving votes: Milligan (Tenn.), 91; Loyola (La.), 77; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.), 57; Madonna (Mich.), 49; Marian (Ind.), 44; Campbellsville (Ky.), 22; Coastal Georgia, 17; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), 3; Westminster (Utah), 3; Tennessee Wesleyan, 3.^ Ranking in 2014 Postseason Top 25 Poll (May 30, 2014)