By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the eighth-straight edition, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) sits atop the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The defending national champion Eagles received seven first-place votes and 307 total points to earn their 11th all-time No. 1 ranking, dating back to 2000.
Embry-Riddle is 8-2 on the year, including four-straight victories against NCAA Division I Toledo (Ohio) (6-1), NCAA Division I Belmont (Tenn.) (7-0), Cumberland (Tenn.) (7-2) and Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (6-3). The Eagles two losses have come against NCAA Division II then-No. 1 Barry (Fla.) (9-0) and NCAA Division II then-No. 4 Lynn (Fla.) (6-3).
Defending national runner-up Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) accumulated 304 points, including three first-place votes, to retain the No. 2 ranking for the eighth-consecutive poll. The Warhawks have now been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in 13-straight editions. Auburn Montgomery is 14-3 on the year with all three losses coming against ranked NCAA Division II opponents: then-No. 3 West Florida (8-1), then-No. 4 Lynn (5-4) and then-No. 1 Barry (8-1).
Georgia Gwinnett accrued 290 points, and the first two first-place votes in the program history, en route to the No. 3 position, the highest-ever ranking for the Grizzlies. Georgia Gwinnett is 12-0 on the season, including wins over eight ranked teams: NCAA Division II then-No. 21 South Carolina-Aiken (9-0) on Feb. 9; then-No. 12 Belhaven (Miss.) (6-0) on Feb. 14; then-No. 13 William Carey (Miss.) (8-1) on Feb. 15; then-No. 6 Xavier (La.) (6-1) on Feb. 16; NCAA Division II then-No. 7 Lander (S.C.) (5-4) on Feb. 20; NCAA Division III then-No. 5 Kenyon (Ohio) (5-4) on March 8; then-No. 25 Coastal Georgia (8-1) on March 12 and NCAA Division II then-No. 2 Armstrong Atlantic (Ga.) (6-3) on March 13.
Two California-based programs, No. 4 Vanguard (Calif.) and No. 5 Westmont (Calif.), round out the top five with 287 and 271 points, respectively. Vanguard is 7-3 on the year, having suffered losses to NCAA Division II then-No. 12 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (5-4), NCAA Division III then-No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) (6-3) and NCAA Division III then-No. 4 Amherst (Mass.) (5-4). Westmont, which has been ranked among the top five in 12-straight polls, boasts a 6-2 record on the season. The Warriors’ two losses have come against NCAA Division II then-No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (6-3) on Feb. 20 and NCAA Division II then-No. 12 Azusa Pacific (7-2) on March 7.
There were no newcomers to the Top 25 poll.
Within the poll, No. 15 Coastal Georgia moved up a poll-high 10 spots, while Bethel (Tenn.) and Oklahoma Baptist each fell three positions, landing at No. 17 and No. 25, respectively.
Nine of the 13 conferences and unaffiliated groupings are represented in the third regular-season poll, led by five teams from the Southern States Athletic Conference.
The fourth regular-season Top 25 poll will be released on April 1.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and unaffiliated groupings. For the entire 2014 Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Embry-Riddle (Fla.) has claimed the No. 1 ranking 11 times, including eight-straight… Auburn Montgomery’s (Ala.) 29 top mentions are the most all-time… The Warhawks are followed by former-members Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Fresno Pacific (Calif.) with 23 each, Oklahoma City with 13 and Embry-Riddle with 11… Embry-Riddle is trying to become the seventh preseason No. 1 to go on to win the national title… The feat was last accomplished by Fresno Pacific in 2011… Two teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2013: Auburn Montgomery and Embry-Riddle.
2014 NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (March 18)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (7)||307|
|2||2||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (3)||304|
|3||4||Georgia Gwinnett (2)||290|
|6||6||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||262|
|12||12||William Carey (Miss.)||197|
|19||18||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||132|
|23||23||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||89|
Others Receiving Votes: Webber International (Fla.) 48; Indiana Wesleyan 48; McPherson (Kan.) 28; St. Francis (Ill.) 27; Missouri Valley 21; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 15; Cumberlands (Ky.) 10; Mobile (Ala.) 5.