Midterm Evaluations

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College CentralAs you saw on Wednesdays College Central I handed out my assessment of the fall season for the men. Now its time to evaluate the womens performance.
 
DukeA+What else is there to say about the best team in the country. A perfect fall season - five wins in five events. Dan Brooks has five All-Americans on his team, and things might only get better in the spring.
 
AuburnB+Three top-3 finishes, including a playoff loss to Duke at The Preview, highlight the Tigers' fall season. Kim Evans' team is young, but impressive and may have a very promising future.
 
Oklahoma StateBAnother team with two runner-up showings during the fall. Amy Weeks has a team filled with potential, but will need to have Annie Thurman step up and lead this team.
 
ArizonaBErica Blasberg is as good as any player in the country. But Greg Allen needs more from the 2-5 positions to establish themselves as a contender in the spring season.
 
FloridaB-Twice a runner up, the Lady Gators have been solid, but not as spectacular as I thought they would be a couple of months ago. Naree Song and Aimee Cho have been reliable, but will need to take it up a notch if they have any chance of chasing down Duke.
 
Some Surprises
 
GeorgiaTodd McCorkles team finished the fall strong, taking Duke to the limit at The Hooters Collegiate Match Play. Throw in two wins along the way, and I feel this is the second best team in the country.
 
New MexicoAfter a slow start, this group of upstarts made the most of their opportunities. Three team victories put an exclamation mark on one of the best fall seasons in school history.
 
FurmanStarted the year unranked in the coaches' poll, but ended it at No. 17. Mic Potter has his team playing with confidence, as he looks to rekindle some of the Paladins' magic of yesteryear.
 
WashingtonImpressed me greatly at Stanford, as this team went toe-to-toe with Duke for three days. Paige Mackenzie is back from injury, and leading the way for Mary Lou Mulflurs squad.
 
Need to step it up
 
Texas.This team is hard to figure out - a lot of talent in Austin, but they dont seem to put it together on a consistent basis. Senior Janice Olivencia needs to take the reigns for the Longhorns.
 
Southern CalThe defending national champions lost a couple of superstars who helped write last years storybook ending, but the cupboard is not bare at USC. Andrea Gaston now needs her team to believe it.
 
Ohio StateAt times they show flashes of brilliance; other times I wonder if they doubt their ability. Perhaps a team who could make a legitimate run in the spring.
 
The best in the country...
 
Liz Janangelo (Duke)The most explosive player in the womens game.
Erica Blasberg (Arizona)On a mission this year after losing out on player of the year a season ago.
Virada Nirapathpongporn (Duke)The one player you want when its all on the line.
Carolina Llano (Pepperdine)Another of the great sophomores who is always in the hunt.
Allison Hanna (Ohio State)The mainstay of the solid team up in Columbus.
Naree Song (Florida)Finding her way nicely as she adapts to the college game.
Lisa Meldrum (Oklahoma)Often overlooked, but as consistent as there is.
Brittany Lang (Duke) and Nicole Hage (Auburn)A couple of freshman who caught my eye right out of the gate, and show a world of promise in the years to come.
 
The fall season has come and gone, and like any year there are those who are meeting expectations and some who might be considered underachievers. Whatever the case might be, the spring is shaping up to be another fantastic run for top honors, which will culminate in May in Opelika, Ala. So sit back and enjoy the ride. I know I will.