FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The University of Arkansas women's golf team was ranked No. 10 in the 2013 Golfweek.com team preseason countdown this week. The Razorback men are also ranked 10th today.
The Razorbacks are one of just seven schools who have been ranked inside the top 30 with the top nine schools still to be unveiled.
"It is always nice to be mentioned in the rankings," Arkansas women's golf coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. "However, we know that rankings, especially preseason rankings like this, are just a starting point. We want to work every day to be better than we were yesterday and if we do that, the rankings and wins and honors will all take care of themselves.
"We have a really strong group of returners this year who have experience on the highest levels of collegiate and amateur golf," Estes-Taylor continued. "We add in one newcomer who I believe will have an immediate impact on our program. I'm excited about this group of young ladies and about all the possibilities that lay ahead of us this season."
The Razorback women return four of the five traveling players from last year's team. The 2013 team reached the program's 11th consecutive NCAA Regional and made its sixth NCAA Championship appearance finishing tied for 13th overall.
Seniors Emma Lavy and All-SEC and All-American Emily Tubert return from that traveling squad along with sophomores All-SEC Gabriela Lopez and All-SEC Freshman Team selection Regina Plasencia. The rest of the team includes freshman Summar Roachell, redshirt freshmen Olivia Lavy and Kayli Quinton and senior Emily Podzielinski.
The Arkansas women's team opens the season Sept. 9-11, at the Dale McNamara NCAA Preview in Tulsa, Okla.
Here's what Golffweek.com had to say about the Razorbacks.
2012-13 Golfweek rank: 6
Go-to girl: Senior Emily Tubert
Season outlook: Emily Tubert can play a big role in the success of this team, and much of that depends on whether the senior can regain the form she had as a freshman and sophomore. Tubert, one of the longest-hitting players in women's college golf, must get out of her own way to do it. In her first two years, she finished No. 12 and No. 2, respectively, in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings but saw that drop to No. 29 last season despite two victories.
At the U.S. Women's Amateur, where she lost on the 19th hole in the Round of 32, Tubert said she was "on the verge of great golf." The improved confidence is a product of a summer spent working tirelessly on her mental game and swing improvements. She also has one more goal for her college career: a national championship as a team.
That's not unachievable if the deep Arkansas lineup plays to its potential at the right time. Other returnees include senior Emma Lavy and sophomore sensations Gabriela Lopez and Regina Plasencia, both of Mexico. One gets the idea that those two only scratched the surface in their freshman campaigns. They were the only players to make all 12 starts with the Razorbacks, and Lopez got her maiden victory at the Westbrook Invitational.
Head coach Shauna Estes Taylor also adds freshman Summar Roachell, an Arkansas native who has a reserved personality but an admirable work ethic, which should allow the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup player to contribute right away.
Fans should visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for additional information about both men's and women's golf teams.
For more information on Arkansas golf, follow @RazorbackWGolf and @RazorbackMGolf on Twitter.
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