Gabby Barker (Shoshone/Paiute), Texas Tech ranked 19th in a preseason poll compiled by Golfweek Magazine

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LUBBOCK, Texas – Golfweek Magazine writer Lance Ringler projected the Texas Tech women’s golf team as one of the nation’s elite Tuesday as the Lady Raiders are ranked 19th in the publication’s preseason poll.

The Lady Raiders, who are entering their ninth season under Robertson, return the bulk of their lineup from a year ago where Tech advanced to the NCAA Championships for the third time in program history and the second time over the past three seasons.

“I’m really excited about this group that we have this year,” said Robertson, who has led Tech to the NCAA Regional round in seven of her eight seasons. “They have impressed me already with some great qualifying scores. They are working hard and will be fun to watch.”

Tech is the second-highest ranked Big 12 school in Ringler’s preseason poll. No. 11 Texas, No. 20 Oklahoma and No. 24 Oklahoma State round out the four conference schools listed among the top 25 programs in the country.

Robertson and assistant coach Matt Whall return four of the five players who competed in the NCAA Championships last May, including seniors Gabby Barker (Shoshone/Paiute) and Lauren Mason who both boast a wealth of experience with three NCAA Regional and two NCAA Championship appearances among their accomplishments.

Barker, who recently made it past the first stage of LPGA qualifying, heads into her senior season with an eye on the Tech career record for scoring average. The Caldwell, Idaho native has averaged 73.4 strokes per round over her career, which is on pace to snap current LPGA standout Kim Kaufman’s record of 74.0 that was set during the 2009-13 seasons.

The Lady Raiders begins the 2017-18 season in less than a week as Tech travels this weekend to the Jim West Challenge held in The Woodlands, just outside of Houston. The two-day, 54-hole tournament begins next Monday from The Club at Carlton Woods.