During the month of January, Golfweek will preview the 2014 spring season for each conference. Today, we look at the Summit League:
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5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Top of the class: Denver
• Player to watch: Tonje Daffinrud, Denver. The senior is 31st in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
• Freshman to watch: Mariell Brunn, Denver. The frosh ranked second in the conference in scoring average during the fall behind only Daffinrud.
• Conference championship: April 21-23, Sky Creek Ranch GC, Keller, Texas
• Past champions (since 2009): North Dakota State (2013), Oral Roberts (2009-12)
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(Golfweek/Sagarin rank in parentheses)
- Denver (42): The Pioneers, who moved to the Summit League from the WAC during the offseason, boasted six of the top eight scoring leaders in the conference during the fall, including senior Tonje Daffinrud, whose 72.22 stroke average led the way. As a team, Denver played the 43rd toughest schedule in the conference and came away with two finishes of sixth or better in four fall events. The Pioneers also led the conference in team scoring average by more than 13 strokes.
- North Dakota State (161): Sarah Storandt’s two individual victories and 76 scoring average led the way during the fall for the defending conference champs while Abby Weller, Cassie Wurm and Hailey Boner each had two top 5s. North Dakota State posted two team victories and a runner-up finish in six fall events.
- South Dakota State (193): A win at the Jackrabbit Fall Invitational was the highlight of the fall. This is a team with decent depth, but no real standout player – six players played at least nine fall rounds, and posted scoring averages between 79 and 82.
- Western Illinois (210): One top 5 in four fall events was all Western Illinois managed while Kristi Tschudin was the only individual with a sub-80 scoring average during the fall.
- Nebraska-Omaha (222): Katie Kesti shared medalist honors at the Bellevue Shootout, where Nebraska-Omaha placed second as a team, the highlight of its fall.
- South Dakota (224): Just two top 10s in five fall events, but Brenna Lervick did win a playoff to claim medalist honors at the Jackrabbit Fall Invitational.
- IPFW (232): Didn’t finish better than seventh in four fall starts and finished second to last in the conference in team scoring average.
- IUPUI (237): IUPUI finished last in the conference in team scoring average (330.2) and had just one top 10 in seven fall tournaments.