__By Ryan Herrington
The votes were already in, and USC had comfortable maintained its spot atop the latest Golf World/WGCA Division I coaches' poll—unbeknownst however to the women of Troy.
Yet as if there was going to be any confusion, the Trojans' 21-stroke victory over Arizona Tuesday at the San Diego State Farms Invitational only reaffirmed the voters' belief. It was USC's third win in a row and the fourth in the last five starts.
Junior Sophia Popov claimed medalist honors, winning her fifth career tournament to tie the school's all-time career victory mark with Irene Cho and Mikaela Parmlid. Four other USC golfers also posted top-10 individual finishes: Annie Park (third), Doris Chen (T-4), Kyung Kim (T-4) and Rachel Morris (T-10).
This is the first year that USC has three or more consecutive wins since the team closed out the 2008 season with four straight titles, including the NCAA championship. No doubt the folks in Los Angeles are hoping for a similar result come next month.
Here's a look at the overall top 25:
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While USC seems to have emerged as the clear No. 1, defending NCAA champion Alabama isn't going away quietly. The Crimson Tide have won their last two starts and claimed four first-place votes out of the 26 available.
Of note: Arkansas moved up to No. 7 in the most recent poll. It's the highest the Lady Razorbacks have been ranked since the poll was resumed in 2001-02.
Nova Southeastern was the unanimous choice for the No. 1 spot in the latest Division II coaches' poll. The Sharks have won five of their six tournaments starts during the 2012-13 season as they attempt to claim their fifth straight NCAA D-II title.
Methodist maintained its place atop the latest Division III coaches' poll. The Monarchs appears to be getting on a roll, having won their last two starts to make it five victories during the 2012-13 season.
At the No. 2 spot is Mary Hardin-Baylor, up from No. 4 in the previous poll. The Lady Crusaders earned eight of the 16 available first-place votes after winning the Jekyll Island Women's Collegiate last month, upsetting Methodist for the team title.