During the month of January, Golfweek will preview the 2014 spring season for each conference. Check out all of the previews here.
Today, we look at the MAAC:
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5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Top of the class: Siena
• Player to watch: Victoria Nguyen, Siena. After finishing in the top 5 of the MAAC Championship last year, the junior earned four top 5s in the fall. Nguyen led Siena with a 77 scoring average in the fall.
• Freshman to watch: Nicole Scola, Quinnipiac. The rookie led her team in just about every department in her first semester of play. She also earned four top 10s in the fall.
• Conference championship: April 25-27, Disney’s Palm GC, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
• Past champions (since 2009): Butler (2013), Siena (2009-2012)
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(Golfweek/Sagarin rank in parentheses)
- Siena (191): Siena dominated the MAAC before Butler took the championship last year. With Butler moving on to the Big East, the conference could be back in Siena’s grasp. The team took three top-5 finishes in tournaments with more than 10 teams in the fall, including a runner-up showing at the St. John’s Invitational. Junior Victoria Nguyen placed in the top-3 individually on four separate occasions the fall, including a win at the Bucknell Women’s Invitational.
- Fairfield (226): Fairfield played its best in smaller fields, as it won the four-team DSU Invitational and finished runner up at the six-team Quinnipiac Classic. Six different golfers took top-10 individual finishes for Fairfield, including junior Emma Ritzman, who won the DSU Invitational.
- Albany (230): After a last-place finish at the 2012-13 MAAC Championship, Albany took a step in the right direction in the fall. It earned a top-5 finish at the St. John’s Invitational and an eighth-place showing at the Rutgers Invitational, which featured 20 teams. Victoria Choi earned three top 5s individually.
- Quinnipiac (238): Freshman Nicole Scola stood out for Quinnipiac in the fall, leading the team in scoring average (76.92), best finish (second) and low round (70). She nabbed four top-10 finishes out of six tournaments in the fall. The top four players in terms of scoring average for Quinnipiac, which earned two top-5 finishes in tournaments with more than six teams, were underclassmen.
- Hartford (239): Hartford relied heavily on underclassmen in the fall, as it failed to play to a top-5 finish in tournaments with more than six teams. Six of Hartford’s seven contributors in the fall were underclassmen, including four freshmen. Sophomore Brooke Nethercott led the team with an 80.7 scoring average and a low round of 73.
- Monmouth (248): Monmouth finished near the bottom of the pack in each of its four fall events. Senior Michelle Rosenhouse was the only player to post a fall scoring average less than 80 (79.8) and a round of par or better. No Hawks finished in the top 10 of a tournament individually this fall.
- Niagara (252): Three contributors return from Niagara’s sixth-place showing at the MAAC Championship last year. Niagara only played one tournament with more than 10 teams in the fall, finishing in 13th out of 17 teams at the Bucknell Invitational. Freshman Selena Cerra made an impact for Niagara in her first semester, holding the lead after one day at the RMU Colonial Classic.