Women's spring preview: Ohio Valley Conference
During the month of January, Golfweek will preview the 2014 spring season for each conference. Today, we look at the Ohio Valley Conference:
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5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Top of the class: Jacksonville State
• Player to watch: Delaney Howson, Murray State. The senior led the OVC in scoring and also finished the fall at No. 140 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
• Freshman to watch: Anne Albrecht, Jacksonville State. Ranked 277th by Golfweek, she led the Gamecocks in scoring average and top 5s during the fall.
• Conference championship: April 21-23, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, The Shoals, Muscle Shoals, Ala.
• Past champions (since 2009): Eastern Kentucky (2013), Jacksonville State (2012), Morehead State (2011), Murray State (2009-10)
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(Golfweek/Sagarin rank in parentheses)
- Jacksonville State (89): The Gamecocks are very solid at Nos. 1-4 in their lineup, with those four players ranked 611th or better by Golfweek. Leading the way in the fall was freshman Anne Albrecht, who was third in the conference in scoring average at 74.3, a tenth of a stroke better than teammate, Maya Parsons, a junior. Albrecht also had a team-high three top 5s for Jacksonville State, which won twice in the fall and also challenged itself with a trip to the Palmetto Intercollegiate despite a 12th-place finish.
- Morehead State (100): A victory at the William and Mary Invitational and a pair of runner-up finishes highlighted the fall for the Eagles. Sophomore Anna Appert Lund of Sweden is the leader of what has become a fairly consistent top 5 for Morehead State. Lund, ranked 164th by Golfweek, was second in the conference in scoring average (72.9) and had a team-high four top 5s.
- Murray State (110): Senior Delaney Howson is the unquestioned leader for a team that likely will start three freshmen and a sophomore in the spring. Howson led the conference in scoring average (72.4) and also had three top 5s during the fall. The Racers won the Murray State Drake Creek Invitational and were runners-up at the Austin Peay State Intercollegiate, but also failed to eclipse sixth in their other three fall starts.
- Eastern Kentucky (119): The Colonels have quality depth but also are inexperienced, with three sophomores and two freshmen in the starting lineup. Freshman Sofie Levin led the team with four top 10s while Eastern Kentucky finished fourth or better in all five of its fall events, including first at the four-team Kentucky Regional Rivalry.
- Belmont (169): No individual finished the fall with a scoring average better than 77.2, but the Bruins did log a few top 5s during the fall. Sydney Hudson recorded four top 10s to lead the team.
- Austin Peay State (181): Jessica Cathey and Rachel Deaton stood out in the fall for the Governors, who had three top 5s in five fall events but also a 15th-place finish at the Blue Raider Invitational.
- Tennessee Tech (185): Tennessee Tech finished fifth twice during the fall, but failed to crack the top 7 in its other three starts. This team is led by the duo of Madalyn Everts and Whitney Robertson.
- Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (221): Ashton Stair was the only player on the team with a sub-80 scoring average while SIU-Edwardsville posted just one finish better than ninth in five fall events.
- Eastern Illinois (245): Tiffany Wolf had the lone top-20 finish for Eastern Illinois, which finished second-to-last three times in four fall starts.
- Tennessee State (255): In four fall tournaments, Tennessee State finished last in three of them and second-to-last in the other.