Next up on our women’s 2014 fall countdown, No. 7 Duke:
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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Duke Blue Devils
Preseason rank: 7
Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 3
2013-14 in review: Winning the national championship for the sixth time in program history was a result of having a deep squad with a very strong leader in Celine Boutier. Everyone peaked at the right time – most notably Boutier, who won three of the four events leading up to NCAAs and finished runner-up there. Aside from the national championship, other victories included the Tar Heel, Darius Rucker, Bryan National and ACC Championship.
Notable departures: Yu Liu, Laetitia Beck, Alejandra Cangrejo
Key returnees: Celine Boutier, Sandy Choi
Newcomers of note: Lisa Maguire, Leona Maguire
Circled on fall calendar: Annika Intercollegiate
Fall outlook: A lot of talent went out the door with the graduation of Beck and Cangrejo, and the start of a professional career for young Liu. There are many unknowns for the Blue Devils this season, including how quickly the Irish Maguire twins, who both have considerable international experience including Curtis Cup turns, will adjust to life in Durham, N.C. Duke also adds freshman Gurbani Singh from India. One thing that seems certain is Boutier’s contribution. The Frenchwoman showed such growth last year that you can expect her to contend every time she tees it up this season.