Freshmen Help Owls Earn No. 6 Rank in NAIA Preseason Poll
KANSAS CITY -- Despite the loss of three-time NAIA All-American Jada Bennington and two-time All-AMC player Ashlee Daly, and the absence of junior Jamie Palermo from much of the fall season, the William Woods University women's golf team was picked sixth in the 2013 NAIA Women's Golf Coaches' Preseason Poll. The Owls earned 372 total points in the polling, moving up one position from their 2012 debut.
British Columbia debuted as the preseason no. 1, earning 10 of the 15 first-place votes and 430 total points, with SCAD Savannah picking up the remaining five top votes and 422 total points. Lubbock Christian (413), Oklahoma Christian University (382) and Embry-Riddle (376) round out the top five.
The Owls look to claim their 10th straight American Midwest Conference title and return to the NAIA National Championship Tournament for the ninth time in the past 10 years. Palermo will lead the squad back as she strives to repeat her third place individual finish in the 2012 tournament. During the fall season, she became a two-sport star for the Owls, earning first team all-AMC honors for the WWU women's soccer team.
During her absence, however, the William Woods University freshman class - led by Alejandra Ferrer, Myriam Hassan, and Jodie Peacock - showed its strength, earning the top spot in the golfstat.com Freshman Class Impact Ranking at the NAIA level. WWU had the top relative strength rating in all of college golf, besting NCAA Division I Tulane University as well as NCAA Division II University of West Florida.
William Woods will announce its spring schedule in January.