By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Make it three-consecutive releases for Northwood (Fla.) sitting on its perch at the very top 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. In this second regular-season edition, the top team grabbed seven first-place votes and 484 total points.
Northwood has finished well in its last two events, claiming second in the Embry-Riddle Eagle Invitational at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. – home of the 64th Annual NAIA Men's Golf National Championships. The Seahawks are most recently coming off of a tie for second in the Battle at Primm in Las Vegas, Nev., on March 24.
One point behind is second-ranked SCAD Savannah (Ga.), who jumped up one spot with 483 points. The Bees also earned seven first-place votes en route to their No. 2 spot. The school is back in the top two after falling to No. 3 last week for the first time since 2013 Postseason Top 25 (May 31, 2013).
Rounding out the rest of the top five is No. 3 British Columbia (475 points and the final four first-place votes), followed by No. 4 Oklahoma City (427 points) and fifth-ranked Houston-Victoria (Texas) (421 points).
Texas Wesleyan – who jumped from No. 9 from No. 14 – made the most improvement in the rating this week. William Woods (Mo.) fell the furthest of any school, dropping from No. 2 to No. 6.
No. 20 Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) and No. 25 Milligan (Tenn.) are the only new programs to surface in the rankings.
The Sun Conference – Northwood, SCAD Savannah, No. 8 USC Beaufort (S.C.), No. 15 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), No. 18 Thomas (Ga.) and No. 23 Southeastern (Fla.) – lead all conferences, while Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) and unaffiliated groupings earned five teams among the Top 25. The A.I.I. and Sooner Athletic Conference each landed a foursome of ranked teams in the poll.
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 third regular-season Top 25 will be announced April 10.
Notes: (All information as of 2000) Eleven different programs have been ranked No. 1 all-time… No. 1 Northwood (Fla.) is making its third-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 61-straight polls since returning to the NAIA in 2003… Oklahoma City has been ranked among the top five in 37-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.
2015 NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches Top 25 Poll – No. 2 (March 27)
|RANK||LAST||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Northwood (Fla.) (7)||484|
|2||3||SCAD Savannah (Ga.) (7)||483|
|3||4||British Columbia (4)||475|
|6||2||William Woods (Mo.)||418|
|8||8||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||393|
|10||12||Cal State San Marcos||351|
|12||10||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||334|
|13||11||Dalton State (Ga.)||307|
|17||16||William Carey (Miss.)||232|
|21||23||William Penn (Iowa)||178|
Others receiving votes: Marian (Ind.) 91; Cumberland (Tenn.) 88; Madonna (Mich.) 86; Campbellsville (Ky.) 43; Coastal Georgia 37; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 13; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 9; Grand View (Iowa) 3.