Loyola women’s golf picked fourth in SSAC Preseason Poll
(Montgomery, Ala.) The Loyola University New Orleans women’s golf team will enter the 2017-18 season ranked fourth in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC), as announced by the league in yesterday’s 2017-18 SSAC Women’s Golf Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
The 2016-17 SSAC champion Dalton State heads into the 2017-18 season as the heavy favorite after grabbing all eight first-place votes (64 total) in the poll. The Roadrunners return SSAC Championship medalist Tia Teiniketo to a team that finished fourth in last year’s NAIA National Championship. William Carey tallied 56 votes in the poll to take second while Faulkner (47 votes), Loyola (41 votes) and Mobile (32) rounded out the top five.
Head coach Drew Goff and the Wolf Pack women’s golf team had arguably the best all-around year in program history last season. Following a strong start, it appeared all the pieces finally came together at the TWU Invitational in March when both team and individual history was made. Individually, Daria Delfino (JR/Cranston, R.I.)’s victory marked just the second time in program history that a Wolf Pack individual claim medalist honors, while as a team Loyola took home a victory at an event for just the third time ever thanks to a program-best round score of 308. Propelled by its performance in Tennessee, the Wolf Pack received votes in the NAIA Top 25 for just the second time ever a few days later.
After leading the team for the entirety of the season, the dynamic duo of Delfino and Julchen Narwark became the first pair of Loyola individuals to be named to the SSAC All-Conference Team prior to the start of the conference championship. Led by ninth place finish by Ashley Rogers (JR/Pace, Fla.) (231, +15) the Wolf Pack managed to claim fifth in the 2016-17 SSAC Championship, marking the program’s highest finish in a conference championship ever.
Upon the conclusion of the conference championship, Narwark was selected to participate in the 2017 NAIA National Championship, becoming the first individual Loyola player ever to make the event. The Germany native made the most of her time at the PGA National Golf Course by being the first Wolf Pack women’s golfer to ever make the cut en route to a top-30 finish.
Although Narwark graduated, the Wolf Pack will return a highly talented core in 2017-18 led by Delfino and Rogers. Joining those two will be fellow junior Abigail Alton (JR/Beaumont, Texas) and sophomore Anne Swoope (SO/Madison, Miss.) while freshmen Madison Bates (FR/Alexandria, La.), Alejandra Bedoya (FR/Bogota, Columbia), Nicole Dragonette-Rincon (FR/Mayaguez, PR) and Kaitlyn Holman (FR/Mobile, Ala.) will all be vying for a spot in the top five.
The 2017-18 season will begin on Sept. 10-11 as the team travels to Jekyll Island, Georgia for the Coastal Georgia Invitational. Two weeks later, Loyola will head to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for the Carey Invitational before making the trip to Valdosta, Georgia on Oct. 9-10 for the Thomas University Invitational. The Wolf Pack will close out the year by hosting the Maroon and Gold Cup from Nov. 12-13 in New Orleans.
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