KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Embry-Riddle (Fla.) tops the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the 11th-straight edition, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles earned their 14th all-time No. 1 ranking, dating back to 2000, after receiving 10 first-place votes and 340 total points.
Defending national champion Embry-Riddle continues its reign at No. 1 after winning its 10th-straight The Sun Conference (TSC) regular-season title and its sixth-consecutive TSC Tournament championship. The Eagles will carry an 18-3 record and a season-long eight-match winning streak into the NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championships, which will be held at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala., from May 13-17. Embry-Riddle, which is unbeaten against NAIA competition this season, boasts three of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Top 50 NAIA singles players in top-ranked Deni Zmak, No. 30 Jaime Canamares and No. 42 Simon Felix. The Eagles are also one of four NAIA programs—along with Westmont (Calif.), Georgia Gwinnett and Vanguard (Calif.) —to have two doubles teams ranked among the ITA’s Top 25. Zmak and Felix are the NAIA’s top-rated duo, while Canamares pairs with Patrick Besch to make up the No. 22-ranked tandem.
After winning their 10th-straight Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Tournament championship, the Warhawks of Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) earn their 11th-straight No. 2 rating. The Warhawks, who have now been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in 16-straight editions, accumulated 331 points including one first-place nod. Like Embry-Riddle, Auburn Montgomery is undefeated against NAIA competition this season. The defending national runners-up will carry a 22-3 record and a 10-match win streak into next month’s national championships.
Georgia Gwinnett was No. 3 for the fourth-straight edition after accruing 325 points and two first-place votes. The Grizzlies picked up their 11th victory over a ranked opponent by defeating then-No. 10 Xavier (La.), 5-1, to win their unaffiliated grouping tournament. With the win, Georgia Gwinnett will head into its first-ever national championships with an unblemished 17-0 record.
No. 4 Vanguard and No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) round out the top five with 310 and 294 points, respectively. Vanguard holds the No. 4 spot for the fourth-straight poll after winning the Golden State Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships. Lindsey Wilson climbs to No. 5 after defeating No. 6 Cumberland (Tenn.), 5-3, for the Mid-South Conference (MSC) tournament title. Vanguard is 18-4 on the season and has not lost to an NAIA opponent, while Lindsey Wilson is 16-2, with one of those losses coming to Cumberland, 5-4, on April 9.
There were no newcomers to the Top 25 for the fourth time this season.
Within the poll, No. 12 Northwestern Ohio and No. 18 Webber International (Fla.) moved up a poll-high four positions, while Aquinas (Mich.) and Warner (Fla.) each fell four spots landing at No. 13 and No. 20, respectively.
Nine of the 13 conferences and unaffiliated groupings are represented in the sixth regular-season poll, led by five teams from the Southern States Athletic Conference. Five other conferences or unaffiliated groupings boast at least three ranked programs.
The final regular-season Top 25 poll will be released on May 5.
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 14 times, including 11-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, Embry-Riddle with 14 and Oklahoma City with 13 … 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… Embry-Riddle has been No. 1 throughout 2014.
2014 NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 6 (April 29)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (10)||340|
|2||2||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (1)||331|
|3||3||Georgia Gwinnett (2)||325|
|5||7||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||294|
|T14||13||William Carey (Miss.)||195|
|18||22||Webber International (Fla.)||155|
|21||20||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||124|
|23||22||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||98|
Others Receiving Votes: Campbellsville (Ky.) 52; Indiana Wesleyan 46; McPherson (Kan.) 27; Cumberlands (Ky.) 26; Missouri Valley 25; St. Francis (Ill.) 16; Biola (Calif.) 15; SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) 7; Indiana Tech 7; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 4; Mobile (Ala.) 3.