St. Louis, Mo., April 2, 2014 – For the first time in school history, the Washington University in St. Louis women's golf team is ranked No. 1 in the Golf World/Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Division III Top-25 Poll, as announced by the Association Wednesday.
"We are thrilled to be recognized by the voters. It is a testament to all the effort put forth by the current and former players for their loyalty and dedication to this program," said sixth-year head coach Sean Curtis. "I hope our alumni are as excited as we are about our future."
The Bears earned 11 of the 17 available first-place votes to move up from their previous No. 2 ranking. Former No. 1 Methodist College dropped one spot to the No. 2 position. The Monarchs claimed five first-place votes after winning last week's Randolph Macon Invitational, their fourth tournament title of the season.
University of Texas-Tyler climbed one spot from the previous poll to No. 3, grabbing the last remaining first-place vote. Rounding out the top five are Williams College and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, which climbed all the way from No. 16 in the previous poll.
Curtis has also guided Washington U. to a No. 1 ranking by Golfstat, with an average team score of 314.73. The Bears claimed team titles at the Labor Day Tee-Off, Millikin Fall Classic, DePauw Small College Classic and the George Fox Westbrook Invitational. Washington U. fired a season-low 294 on day two of the Golfweek Division III Fall Preview on Oct. 14 in Destin, Fla.
Sophomore Connie Zhou leads a group of three golfers that average an 80 or lower per 18 holes. Zhou has placed in the top-five in four tournaments, and won the Golfweek Division III Fall Preview with a three-day score of 219 (76-72-71). She ranks fifth in NCAA Division III with a 76.69 average.
Junior Olivia Lugar has recorded four top-five finishes this season and won the Millikin Fall Classic with a two-day score of 149 (76-73). Lugar ranks 12th in Division III with a 77.85 average. Freshman Xin Fang (79.02, 15th), freshman Samantha Han (81.08, 55th) and senior Andrea Hibbert (81.92, 69th) round out the top five for Washington University.
Washington University hosts the Third Annual Washington University Spring Invitational Saturday-Sunday, April 5-6, at Gateway National Golf Links in Madison, Ill. The two-day event will include 10 ranked teams – Washington U. (No. 1, DIII), DePauw (No. 6, DIII), William Woods (No. 6, NAIA), Rhodes (No. 9, DIII), Olivet (No. 11, DIII), Rend Lake (No. 11, NJCAA), Carthage (No. 19, DIII), Carleton (No. 21, DIII), Wittenberg (No. 22, DIII) and Wisconsin-Stout (No. 23, DIII).