By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the second-straight poll, Northwood (Fla.) locks down the No. 1 ranking in the first regular-season edition of the 2014-15 NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Friday. The Seahawks earned their first-ever No. 1 ranking back in the Preseason Top 25 on Nov. 7, 2014. This time, Northwood grabbed 10 first-place votes and 491 total points.
During the 2015 spring season, the Seahawks have participated in four events, placing as high as second in the team standings at the Florida Southern Grasslands on Feb. 17. In that tournament, Northwood defeated the top-four ranked teams in NCAA Division II. Individually, Elsa Westin took home the top prize for the second-consecutive tournament with a five-over par.
Closely behind, No. 2-ranked William Woods (Mo.) jumped up one spot with 484 points. The Owls collected the remaining eight first-place nods to earn their highest-ever spot in school history.
Falling back one slot, No. 3 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) tallied 417 total points. This marks the first time the Bees were ranked outside the top two since the 2013 Postseason Top 25 (May 31, 2013).
No. 4 British Columbia (B.C.) and No. 5 Oklahoma City flip-flopped positions with British Columbia pulling 445 points and the Stars ending with 424.
Jumping up four spots, No. 21 Victoria (B.C.) boasts the best improvement within the Top 25. Four other programs tumbled down two positions for the largest fall.
The Sun Conference – Northwood, SCAD Savannah, No. 8 USC Beaufort (S.C.), No. 15 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), No. 17 Thomas (Ga.) and No. 23 Southeastern (Fla.) – lead all conferences, Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) and unaffiliated groupings with six teams among the Top 25. The A.I.I. and Sooner Athletic Conference each landed a quartet of ranked teams.
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. The second regular-season Top 25 will be announced March 27.
Notes: (All information as of 2000) There were no newcomers in this edition… Eleven different programs have been ranked No. 1 all-time… No. 1 Northwood (Fla.) is making its second-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 60-straight polls since returning to the NAIA in 2003… Oklahoma City has been ranked among the top five in 36-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’ Top 25 Poll (March 13)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Northwood (Fla.) (10)||491|
|2||3||William Woods (Mo.) (8)||484|
|3||2||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||471|
|8||8||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||384|
|10||13||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||346|
|11||10||Dalton State (Ga.)||327|
|12||12||Cal State San Marcos||322|
|16||17||William Carey (Miss.)||249|
|23||22||William Penn (Iowa)||159|
Others receiving votes: Milligan (Tenn.) 101; Madonna (Mich.) 66; Marian (Ind.) 63; Campbellsville (Ky.) 46; Coastal Georgia 34; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 21; Loyola (La.) 10; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 6; Grand View (Iowa) 3.
^ Ranking in 2015 Preseason Top 25 Poll (Nov. 7, 2014)