NEWBERG, Ore. – With their 2012-13 women’s golf season starting in just over a week, the George Fox University Bruins find themselves ranked No. 7 in the Golf World / National Golf Coaches Association NCAA Division III pre-season national poll, the same position in which they were ranked at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season.
The Bruins are coming off a year in which they compiled a 74-23 record, won six of their 12 tournaments, captured a share of their third straight Northwest Conference title, and placed seventh in the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament in Angola, Ind., their highest finish ever in three consecutive national appearances.
Anchoring the returning lineup for head coach MaryJo McCloskey, who is entering her seventh season at George Fox after establishing the program in 2006, are senior Kelsey Morrison and sophomore Megan McGrew. Morrison became the Bruins’ first First Team All-American last year and was the runner-up in balloting for the National Player of the Year. She and McGrew were both First Team All-West Region selections as well as All-Northwest Conference, with Morrison picking up NWC Player of the Year honors.
Also back for the Bruins are senior Abby Mann and sophomores Loreece Magsanide and Whitney Jammerman. Three talented freshmen - Kiana Lumanlan from Hilo, Hawai’i, Melissa Nugent from Riverside, Calif., and Hailey Ostrom from Bend, Ore. - give the Bruins perhaps the deepest lineup they have ever had.
George Fox was the highest-rated team from Region 5 (the West Region) with 347 points. Also in the top 25 from the West were the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (9th, 294 points), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (13th, 233), Whitman College (14th, 176), the University of Texas-Tyler (19th, 109), Southwestern University of Texas (22nd, 93), and the University of Redlands (23rd, 66). Whitman shared the NWC title with George Fox last year. Another NWC team, Whitworth University, narrowly missed the top 25 with 43 points.
With 15 straight NCAA titles, MethodistUniversity is about the surest bet in college golf, and not surprisingly, the Monarchs enter the 2012-13 season as the unanimous choice for the No. 1 team, receiving all 18 first-place votes and 450 points. DePauw University, the 2012 NCAA runner-up, claimed the No. 2 spot (413 points), followed by Centre College (362), Williams College (359), Washington University-St. Louis (353), and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (351).
Results of all of the Golf World / NGCA polls are in the May 3 issue of Golf World and are on line at http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/blogs/college-golf/2012/08/alabama-tops-womens-preseason.html#entry-more.
The Bruins’ season begins Sunday-Monday, Sept. 16-17, in the O’Brien National Invitational at the Warren Golf Course on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. St. Mary’s College of Indiana is the host for the tournament, which brings together several of the top 25 (and often top 10) teams from the previous year.