By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Georgia Gwinnett tops the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. After winning their first national championship to give Georgia Gwinnett a sweep of the 2014 NAIA tennis national titles, the Grizzlies accumulated all 12 first-place votes and 312 total points to earn their first-ever No. 1 ranking.
Georgia Gwinnett, which won its first national title in its first year of eligibility for NAIA postseason, ends its season with an unblemished 21-0 record. The Grizzlies, who had 15 victories over ranked opponents from NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and the NAIA this season, closed their year with a 5-1 win over top-seeded Embry-Riddle (Fla.) in the national championship final on May 17.
Embry-Riddle, which had been ranked No. 1 for 12-straight polls heading into the national championship, fell to No. 2 in the poll after losing, 5-1, to Georgia Gwinnett in the national championship match. The Eagles, who concluded their season 21-4, accrued 302 total points en route to the No. 2 ranking. The loss in the national championship final was Embry-Riddle’s first to an NAIA opponent this season.
After falling to eventual national championship Georgia Gwinnett (5-1) in the national championship semifinals, Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) dropped to No. 3 in the poll, earning 291 total points. The Warhawks had been ranked No. 2 for 12-straight polls heading into the national championship after finishing as the national runners-up to Embry-Riddle in 2013. Auburn Montgomery finished its year 24-4, with its lone NAIA loss coming in the national championship semifinals.
National championship semifinalist Vanguard (Calif.) and quarterfinalist Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) round out the top five with 283 and 272 points, respectively. The Lions ended their year 20-5 after suffering their first loss in NAIA play to Embry-Riddle (5-1) in the national championship semifinals. The Blue Raiders, who fell to Vanguard (5-4) in the national championship quarterfinals, were 17-3 on the season.
National championship qualifiers No. 19 SCAD Atlanta and No. 22 Mobile (Ala.) were the newcomers to the poll.
Bethel (Tenn.) (No. 17) and Oklahoma Baptist (No. 25) fell out of the Top 25.
No. 17 Davenport (Mich.), No. 18 Warner (Fla.), No. 20 Pikeville (Ky.), No. 23 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) and No. 25 Northwood (Fla.) did not qualify for the national championship, but earned Top 25 mention in the postseason poll.
Within the poll, No. 7 Bethany (Kan.) moved up a poll-high three positions, while William Carey (Miss.) fell 10 spots, landing at No. 24.
Ten of the 13 conferences and unaffiliated groupings are represented in the postseason poll, led by five teams from the Southern States Athletic Conference. Four other conferences or unaffiliated groupings boast at least three ranked programs.
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) Georgia Gwinnett is ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history… Embry-Riddle (Fla.) had topped the poll for 12-straight editions prior to the 2014 Postseason Poll… 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 15 and Oklahoma City with 13… Two teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2014: Embry-Riddle and Georgia Gwinnett.
2014 NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Postseason (May 21)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||3||Georgia Gwinnett (12)||312|
|3||2||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||291|
|5||5||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||272|
|16||18||Webber International (Fla.)||145|
|19||RV||SCAD Atlanta (Ga.)||118|
|21||23||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||111|
|23||22||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||92|
|24||14||William Carey (Miss.)||85|
Others Receiving Votes: Oklahoma Baptist 58; Bethel (Tenn.) 47; Campbellsville (Ky.) 43; Indiana Wesleyan 39; McPherson (Kan.) 35; Missouri Valley 17; St. Francis (Ill.) 5; Huntington (Ind.) 5; Hastings (Neb.) 4; IU Southeast (Ind.) 3.