GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The North Dakota women’s golf team was picked to finish 10th in its inaugural season of Big Sky play this spring in a poll released by league officials on Tuesday. The poll was selected by the league’s 11 head coaches and coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Northern Arizona received eight of the 11 first-place votes and 98 total points. Portland State earned two first-place votes and 83 points. Sacramento State garnered the 11th first-place vote and 76 total points. The Lumberjacks finished the fall season ranked 129th in the Golfstat rankings, tops among Big Sky schools. NAU has won five Big Sky Championships, most recently in 2009.
Portland State head coach Kathleen Takaishi has guided the Vikings to Big Sky championships in three of her first five seasons. PSU has won six overall titles. The Vikings averaged 312.42 strokes per round in the fall.
Sacramento State finished second at last year’s championship, two shots behind Northern Colorado. The Hornets, coached by David Sutherland, are led by sophomore Lexie Hall, who finished fourth in her first Big Sky Championship.
League newcomer Southern Utah was selected fifth, followed by Weber State, Montana and Northern Colorado. The Bears were selected fifth in last year’s preseason poll, but played three excellent days of golf to win their first Big Sky Championship with a 54-hole total of 880.
Montana State, Eastern Washington, newcomer North Dakota and Idaho State rounded out the poll.
The 2013 Spring Season begins on Feb. 11 as UND will be one of eight Big Sky teams participating in The Lumberjack at the Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 11-13.
The 2013 Big Sky Championship is slated for April 21-23 at the Ocotillo Golf Resort.
Big Sky Women’s Golf Preseason Poll
1. Northern Arizona (8) 98
2. Portland State (2) 83
3. Sacramento State (1) 76
4. Southern Utah 68
5. Weber State 64
6. Montana 59
7. Northern Colorado 55
8. Montana State 45
9. Eastern Washington 26
10. North Dakota 20
11. Idaho State 11
— Go UND —