Women's countdown: No. 8 Arizona State

Arizona State's Noemi Jimenez (right) talks with USC's Rachel Morris during the 2013 NCAA Championship.

Arizona State's Noemi Jimenez (right) talks with USC's Rachel Morris during the 2013 NCAA Championship.

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We are counting down the top 30 women's teams heading into the fall college season.

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• • •

8. Arizona State

2012-13 Golfweek rank: 10

Go-to girl: Junior Noemi Jimenez

Season outlook: Less than three years ago, Arizona State was entering tournaments with only individuals after head coach Melissa Luellen suddenly found herself with a short roster. Luellen pulled together a gutsy team of newcomers in spring 2011, spent the majority of the next three months on the road playing tournaments and the Sun Devils somehow advanced to the NCAA Championship that May.

Three of those key players (seniors Justine Lee, Daniela Ordonez and Laura Blanco) now enter their final season at Arizona State, and if they continue the gritty play for which they’ve come to be known, it should be a good year for the Sun Devils. The real spark this season, however, should come from junior Noemi Jimenez.

Jimenez takes a “Why not?” approach to each tournament, which resulted in back-to-back victories last spring and has produced French Amateur and Girls’ British Amateur titles. The Spaniard knows how to score and names compatriot and former ASU player Azahara Munoz as a role model.

Luellen’s freshmen include Monica Vaughn, an Oregonian who has won nearly every female amateur title there is to win in that state, plus Arizona natives Saki Iida and Mikayla Harmon.

– Julie Williams

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