Women's spring preview: Horizon League

Women's spring preview: Horizon League

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Women's spring preview: Horizon League

The Horizon League looks a little different in 2013. Perennial top dog Butler has left the conference, which is good news for the remaining seven teams. By claiming the conference championship the past two years, Butler earned the automatic qualifier spot into postseason. It’s up for grabs this year, and through the fall season, Detroit is the leading candidate to replace Butler.

Detroit has been close to claiming the AQ in the past. After winning its first league championship in 2010, then finishing 23rd at the NCAA Central Regional, Detroit finished with at least a share of runner-up honors the past two years. Detroit is the favorite for new powerhouse status in the Horizon League, but head coach Terri Anthony-Ryan has a scouting report for each of the other six teams in the league.

“I think the conference has really improved over the past few years.,” she said.

The Titans are a good bet for conference hardware because they won three times in the fall, including at their own event. Detroit finished 25 shots ahead of runner-up Youngstown State that week, then beat the Penguins on their turf the following tournament. As leading scorer Lindsey Lammers sat out of the next event, the MAC Preview, Detroit finished last among 15 teams. Anthony-Ryan calls that a “debacle week.” It wasn’t easy to get Lammers, a tough player who had endured two wrist surgeries in the past year, to the sidelines. Lammers had slipped on a wet bridge earlier in the week, and threw out her back.

When not on the injured list, Lammers recorded two individual victories for the Titans this fall. She’s the face of this team, but not the only player whose name you should learn.

“Everyone knows Lindsey, but she has six other players behind her,” Anthony-Ryan said. Four averaged below 80 in the fall.

Anthony-Ryan calls Detroit a better spring team than a fall team, which is good news for the Titans if they want another NCAA Regional bid. The league championship returns to Mission Inn resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., this year, but the tournament will be played on the Las Colinas course instead of the El Campeon course.

“For our mindset, I think it’s good for us,” Anthony-Ryan said of the change of scenery. “But you can’t look past anyone else.”

• • •

Where it stands now

Top of the class: Cleveland State

Best player in the fall: Kelly Voigt, Valparaiso

• • •

Past champions

2008: Butler

2009: Youngstown State

2010: Detroit

2011: Butler

2012: Butler

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Conference capsules

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