FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Akransas women’s golf team is ranked #20 in the Golfweek.com preseason poll.
Arkansas, who finished as the Southeastern Conference runner-up, advanced to the team’s second consecutive NCAA Tournament after an eighth place finish at the NCAA Central Regional. The Razorbacks return the entire team while adding four newcomers who will immediately impact the team.
Junior Emily Tubert returns as a two-time All-American and All-SEC First-Team pick. Tubert is ranked second in the nation in the Golfweek.com individual standings to start the year.
The Razorbacks take part in three tournaments this fall opening in early September.
Here is a look at what Golfweek.com has to say about Arkansas:
In preparation for the upcoming college season, Golfweek is breaking down the rosters of each of its preseason top 30 teams.
No. 20 Arkansas
2011-12 Golfweek rank: 33
Go-to girl: Emily Tubert
Season outlook: A freshman class generally isn’t referred to with the term “depth,” but that could be the case this season for Arkansas’ young roster. The Razorbacks look to have one of the most talented groups of newcomers in the country.
Head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor added Gabriela Lopez, who qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open this summer; Regina Plascencia, a quarterfinalist at the Women’s Trans National; and Kayli Quinton, a three-time Greater Houston City Junior winner. That trio joins local product Olivia Lavy of Fayetteville, the younger sister of junior Emma Lavy, and takes the number of players on the Razorbacks’ roster to 11. It will be a battle to make the lineup, a fact that tends to make each player better.
Junior Emily Tubert, who finished No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings after a spring streak of four top 5s — including third at the SEC Championship and T-4 at the NCAA Central Regional — can count on a steady spot in the top 5, along with classmate Lavy. From there, it could be anyone’s guess. Senior Victoria Vela and junior Emily Podzielinski also played every tournament for Arkansas last season, and sophomores Hally Leadbetter and Audrey Monssoh could find room in the mix, too. But they’ll have to beat out those freshmen.
Estes-Taylor’s lineup might not look the same from week to week, especially in the fall. But when the toughest tests for the Razorbacks are their own qualifying events at the difficult Blessings Golf Club, the real tournaments might seem easy in comparison. — Golfweek.com