Next up on our women’s 2014 fall countdown, No. 8 Arizona State:
Editor’s note: The rankings are those of our college expert, Julie Williams, as she looked ahead to the collegiate preseason. The official Golfweek/Sagarin rankings won’t be available until a couple of weeks into the fall season.
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Arizona State Sun Devils
Preseason rank: 8
Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 5
2013-14 in review: The Sun Devils contended in all but one start last season (the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, where Arizona State finished an uncharacteristic 12th) but never managed a victory. The season ended most respectably, with a T-2 at the Ping ASU Invitational, fifth at the Pac-12s, third at the NCAA West Regional and fifth at the national championship.
Notable departures: Laura Blanco, Justine Lee, Dani Ordonez
Key returnees: Noemi Jimenez, Emilie Alonso, Monica Vaughn,
Newcomers of note: Roberta Liti, Ashleigh Greenan, Sophia Zeeb
Circled on fall calendar: Annika Intercollegiate
Fall outlook: There was much turnover in the Sun Devil camp last spring, but head coach Melissa Luellen returns a fiery team leader in Jimenez. The Spaniard – with unfailing commitment to coach and team – is a good early bet for college player of the year and will be an excellent motivator, not to mention scorer. Freshmen hail from England, Italy and Germany, which not only brings an element of unknown but also a good dose of culture.