The University of Houston-Victoria women's golf team will enter the 2017-18 season ranked No. 7 in the Unaffiliated RRAC/SAC preseason women's golf poll.
This will be the second straight season for the Jaguars to be competing as part of the Sooner Athletic Conference in women's golf.
Defending champion Oklahoma City is the top-ranked team in the conference followed by Texas Wesleyan University, Wayland Baptist, Houston St. Thomas, Southwestern Christian and St. Gregory's University. Four other teams, University of the Southwest, Central Christian (Kan.), Oklahoma Panhandle State and Mid-America Christian follow UHV.
Oklahoma City is also the top-ranked preseason team in the NAIA Women's Golf coaches' poll after receiving 17 first-place votes and 526 points. Embry-Riddle, with one first-place vote, ranks second, followed by USC Beaufort (S.C.), Dalton State (Ga.) and SCAD Savannah (Ga.).
However, the Jaguars look to enter the season on a more competitive basis with nine players on this year's roster after two consecutive seasons with just four players on the team.
Juniors Jo Ellen Canales (JR/Corpus Christi, TX) and Reid Whaley (JR/Nederland, TX) return for their third season with the Jaguars, while sophomore Viviana Yzquierdo (SO/Barbers Hills, TX) also returns. The trio will be joined by six freshmen including Jocelyn Villafranca (FR/Cuero, TX), Kelsey Torres (FR/Victoria, TX), Leah Lerma (FR/Mission, TX), Lorrin Dickey (FR/Victoria, TX), Victoria Garcia (FR/Brownsville, TX) and Viviana Puente (FR/San Antonio, TX) to add much needed depth and competition to the team.
The Jaguars finished sixth in last year's SAC Championships and will open this season on Sept. 25-26 when they host the annual UHV Fall Classic at the Club at Colony Creek.