Women's fall countdown: No. 9 Alabama
Next up on our women's 2014 fall countdown, No. 9 Alabama:
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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Alabama Crimson Tide
Preseason rank: 9
Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 13
2013-14 in review: Alabama entered last season with a No. 2 preseason ranking, but a surprisingly slow season followed. The Tide earned its single victory at the Landfall Tradition, but advanced to the NCAA Championship with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Central Regional. Alabama was ninth at the national championship.
Notable departures: Stephanie Meadow, Hannah Collier
Key returnees: Emma Talley, Janie Jackson, Daniela Lendl
Newcomers of note: Lakareber Abe, Nicole Morales
Circled on fall calendar: Annika Intercollegiate
Fall outlook: Head coach Mic Potter has one of the best freshman classes of any team. Abe and Morales, both seasoned junior players with experience competing and winning on the national stage, are top-10 players in Golfweek’s Junior Rankings for the class of 2014. The loss of Meadow is a big one for Alabama – she was a talented and charming college player with a level head – but loveable southerner Talley can fill that void. Talley won the U.S. Women’s Amateur a year ago, and needs to regain that form to lead the team. Alabama native Jackson and role player Lendl can help.