By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As teams enter the final stretch of the 2014-15 tennis season, the Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies continue their reign atop the 2015 NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday.
The final regular-season Top 25 Poll will be revealed on May 4 at 4 p.m. CDT. The national qualifiers for the 2015 Men’s and Women’s Tennis National Championships on May 12-16 in Mobile, Ala., will be unveiled at 5 p.m. on the same day.
The top-squad earned 343 points and all 13 first-place votes en route to the school’s eighth top-billing in-a-row, and the eighth overall in the program’s history. Georgia Gwinnett has lead all teams at the top of the ratings since the 2014 Coaches’ Postseason Poll on May 21, 2014.
Georgia Gwinnett (12-2) wrapped up the regular-season with an 8-1 thrashing of NCAA Division III Emory (Ga.) at home on April 21. Jordan Cox and Kevin Konfederak teamed up for a No. 1 victory over Alex Ruderman and Scott Rubinstein, while Matias Hatem and Connor Clements handed a loss to Eric Halpern and Aman Manji.
In singles action, both Cox and Konfederak picked up 6-0, 6-1 victories over Ruderman and Halpern. Hatem clichéd the match for the Grizzlies with a 6-0, 6-4 victory.
The No. 1 team looks ahead to potentially defending its crown in the national championships.
The top five stood still in today’s release, as Embry-Riddle (18-3) – 2014 national runner-up – remains at No. 2 with 329 total points. Vanguard (Calif.) (25-1) is in third with 320 points, followed by No. 4 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (19-5 and 313 points), and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (19-1 and 299 points) is fifth.
No. 17 McPherson (Kan.) vaulted eight spots from last week’s No. 25 ranking after claiming the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) crown. The Bulldogs moved up more spots than any other team. No. 14 Bethany (Kan.) dropped from No. 8 following its loss in the KCAC title match to McPherson.
No. 21 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) and No. 22 Reinhardt (Ga.) joined the poll this week after both won their individual conference tournaments (Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Appalachian Athletic Conference).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions. For the entire 2015 NAIA 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 eighth time in program history, and sixth-consecutive regular-season release… Embry-Riddle (Fla.) had topped the poll for 12-straight editions prior to the 2014 Coaches’ Postseason Poll on May 21, 2014… 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.
2015 NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (April 28)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014-15 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Georgia Gwinnett (13)||12-2||343|
|4||4||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||19-5||313|
|5||5||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||19-1||299|
|8||9||San Diego Christian (Calif.)||14-7||263|
|9||10||William Carey (Miss.)||13-6||257|
|15||17||Dalton State (Ga.)||10-7||183|
|21||RV||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||20-7||116|
|23||20||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||4-10||94|
|24||23||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||12-6||84|
|25||23||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||6-7||77|
Others Receiving Votes: Davenport (Mich.) 52; Tennessee Wesleyan 51; Indiana Wesleyan 49; Aquinas (Mich.) 35; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 34; Marian (Ind.) 17; Middle Georgia State 4; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 4; Biola (Calif.) 3; St. Thomas (Fla.) 3; Asbury (Ky.) 3.