By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Northwood (Fla.) closes the regular-season ranked No. 1 in the NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Thursday. The Seahawks received 17-of-18 first-place votes and 498 points to extend their top-ranked streak to five-straight.
Team and individual qualifiers for the 21st annual NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships will be released today at 5 p.m. CDT on www.NAIA.org. The first and second round pairings will be unveiled Friday at 3 p.m.
Northwood never trailed en route to the 2015 The Sun Conference Championships team title and an automatic berth into the national championships field by carding a 295-296-295—886 – 12 strokes better than second-place SCAD Savannah (Ga.). The Seahawks had four of their five competitors finish among the top five, including individual medalist Elsa Westin.
The rest of the top five held strong for another week, as No. 2 SCAD Savannah (481 points), No. 3 British Columbia (one first-place vote and 466 points), No. 4 Oklahoma City (447 points) and No. 5 William Woods (Mo.) (438 points) make up the rest of the quintet.
Similar to Northwood, British Columbia, Oklahoma City and William Woods all earned automatic berths to the national championships by winning their respective conference or Association of Independent Institutions tournament title.
Minimal movement occurred throughout the poll with no team jumping more than one spot from the April 10 edition. Southeastern (Fla.) dropped a poll high three places from No. 22 to No. 25. In addition to Southeastern, only No. 9 Cumberlands (Ky.) and No. 24 Milligan (Tenn.) fell more than one spot.
No. 22 Campbellsville (Ky.) is the only newcomer in the installment. The Tigers, fueled by a second-place finish at the Mid-South Conference tournament, are ranked for the first time since May 5, 2011 – a stretch of 22-straight polls without a mention.
The Sun Conference – Northwood, SCAD Savannah, No. 6 USC Beaufort (S.C.), No. 15 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), No. 19 Thomas (Ga.) and Southeastern – leads all leagues with six schools represented.
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 postseason Top 25 will be announced May 22.
Notes: (All information as of 2000) Eleven different programs have been ranked No. 1 all-time… No. 1 Northwood (Fla.) is making its fifth-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 62-straight polls since returning to the NAIA in 2003… Oklahoma City has been ranked among the top five in 39-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 – Final (April 30)
|RANK||LAST||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Northwood (Fla.) (17)||498|
|2||2||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||481|
|3||3||British Columbia (1)||466|
|5||5||William Woods (Mo.)||438|
|6||6||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||407|
|10||10||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||356|
|11||11||Cal State San Marcos||351|
|13||14||Dalton State (Ga.)||304|
|17||17||William Carey (Miss.)||233|
|20||20||William Penn (Iowa)||207|
Others receiving votes: Oklahoma Baptist 101; Marian (Ind.) 75; Cumberland (Tenn.) 72; Madonna (Mich.) 39; Coastal Georgia 33; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 19; Bethel (Ind.) 13; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 7.