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 Mountain West:
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5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Top of the class: San Diego State
• Player and Freshman to watch: Sirene Blair, San Diego State. No. 29 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, Blair came in and made an immediate impact for the Aztecs. She finished as the team’s low player in each of San Diego State’s four fall tournaments. Blair won the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown and placed in the top 10 four times.
• Conference championship: April 24-26, Mission Hills CC (Dinah Shore), Rancho Mirage, Calif.
• Past champions (since 2009): UNLV (2013), TCU (2011-12), New Mexico (2009-10)
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(Golfweek/Sagarin rank in parentheses)
- San Diego State (No. 41): The Aztecs swept titles at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown. The team also finished in a tie for fourth at the Minnesota Invitational, sixth at the Dick McGuire and ninth at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational. The team’s best round came in the team’s last round of the fall, a 289. Sirene Blair won the first individual title for the Aztecs since 2011. She led the team with a 71.82 scoring average.
- UNLV (No. 46): UNLV tied for second at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown and placed fourth as a team at the Wollenberg’s Ram Classic. Junior Dana Finkelstein won the Ram Classic and finished in a tie for second at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational. Junior Mayko Chwen Wang and freshmen Avery French and Vivan Chen played in every tournament this fall for the Rebels.
- New Mexico (No. 63): New Mexico’s top finish of the fall was at the Wollenberg Ram Classic, where it finished in fifth place. The team has four seniors and four freshmen on the team. Six of its players are international, too. Senior Sammi Stevens, a native of Texas, finished T-2 at the Ram Classic and fourth at the Betsey Rawls Longhorn Invite for the best finishes of the fall for the Lobos.
- San Jose State (No. 71): The Spartans finished seventh at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational and ninth at the Golfweek Conference Challenge for their best finishes of the fall. My Leander, the freshman from Sweden, had the low scoring average for the team in the fall with a 76.67.
- Nevada (No. 97): The team finished fourth at the Price’s Give ‘Em Five Intercollegiate. Junior Nikki Prichard tallied the only individual top 10 of the season, at the Give ‘Em Five Intercollegiate.
- Fresno State (No. 109): The Bulldogs finished eighth at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate. Sophomore Hannah Sodersten finished in a tie for seventh at the Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate. Junior Madchen Ly led the team with a 74.64 scoring average.
- Colorado State (No. 111): The Rams finished fourth at the eight-team Rainbow Wahine Invitational and tied for sixth at the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational. Senior Emily Roering carded her second top-5 finish at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate.
- Boise State (No. 114): Captured the Winthrop Intercollegiate, and finished as the runner-up at its own Bronco Fall Invitational and the SCU Colby Invitational. Sophomore Samantha Martin claimed the Winthrop Intercollegiate. Martin had three other top-10 finishes this fall in five tournaments. She has lowered her scoring average from last season by almost two strokes.
- Hawaii (No. 117): The team finished second at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational, and sixth at the Bronco Fall Classic and the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate. Freshman Izzy Leung paced the team in all four tournaments. She finished T-4, fourth, sixth and T-40.
- Wyoming (No. 140): The Cowgirls finished eighth at the WSU Cougar Cup and the Price’s Give ‘Em Five Intercollegiate. Emily Blunt finished the fall with two consecutive top-15 finishes at the Give ‘Em Five Intercollegiate and Wyoming’s home tournament, the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate.