NORMAN, Okla. — The La Verne men's golf team is back where it belongs.
The Leopards checked in at No. 21 in the latest NCAA Division III Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll released by the Golf Coaches Association of America, returning to the Top 25 for the first time since September 2015.
La Verne is also ranked No. 14 in the Golfstat Relative Ranking.
After an up-and-down 2016 campaign, the Leopards have shown a big improvement over the fall and the start of the spring seasons as some of the young players have played with more consistency.
"Good teams in any sport show consistency and it's exciting to see this group doing that through the early part of the spring," La Verne head coach Eric Riehle said.
The Leopards have played a tough schedule, which has aided the development of the players. The Leopards went up against a field comprised entirely of NCAA Division I teams at CSUF Folino Invitational in January and just posted a seventh place finish among top Division II teams at Las Vegas Desert Classic this week.
La Verne placed second at SCIAC No. 1, finishing eight strokes behind the defending national champion and No. 12 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, and Aaron DiGiamarino took the individual medalist honors.
The Leopards also faced the Stags in a true-dual matchup in October and was edged by just five strokes.
The Leopards will get another chance to test their mettle against some of the top Division III teams at the annual Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitiational in Georgia on March 17-19.
"We're now moving into a major evaluative portion of our season playing against the two best annual fields at Jekyll Island and THE WEST CUP this month," Riehle said of the upcoming schedule. "I stand by the belief that our team has more space to improve than any other. We'll have seven weeks left in the regular season to see where the collective reaches."