By Colbi Howser, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending national champion Georgia Gwinnett opens its 2016 season with a No. 1 ranking in the first regular season edition of the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The second regular season poll will be released March 1.
Top 25 Highlights
• Georgia Gwinnett starts off its season with a No. 1 ranking after capturing all 13 first-place votes and 343 total points.
• The Grizzlies opened its season with five wins all against NCAA Division I, II and II teams. In its most recent matchup, Georgia Gwinnett faced NCAA Division III No. 5 Emory (Ga.) in a win, 8-1.
• No. 2 Dalton State (Ga.) sees a significant jump in the polls as it moves up seven spots this week. The Roadrunners are 3-3 on the season with recent wins against NCAA Division II Georgia Southwestern, 9-0 and Point Park (Ga.), 6-3.
• No. 5 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) falls three spots in the poll after losing to then-No. 9 Dalton State, 5-4.
• No. 23 Southeastern (Fla.) makes its way into the Top 25 Poll for the first time in program history. The Fire have wins against SCAD Savannah (GA.), 5-4 and Ave Maria (Fla.), 7-2.
• Fourteen teams stayed in the same rankings as last time.
• The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all leagues with four teams represented each.
• Georgia Gwinnett (2015), Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (2009, 08, 07) Fresno Pacific (Calif.) (2011, 10), Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (2006, 04) and Oklahoma City (2001, 00) are the only teams to go the entire season ranked No. 1.
• Auburn Montgomery has the most No. 1 rakings in the Top 25 (29), Azusa Pacific and Fresno Pacific are second with 23 each.
• 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.
2015 NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Preseason – (Feb. 16)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL||WON||LOST||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Georgia Gwinnett (13)||5||0||343|
|2||9||Dalton State (Ga.)||3||3||320|
|3||3||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||1||1||315|
|5||2||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||1||1||304|
|7||6||San Diego Christian (Calif.)||3||0||281|
|8||7||William Carey (Miss.)||0||2||266|
|17||17||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||0||2||164|
|18||18||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||0||2||149|
|19||20||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||4||2||129|
Dropped from the Top 25: none
Receiving Votes: Middle Georgia State 40, Pikeville (Ky.) 40, Goshen (Ind.) 35, Warner (Fla.) 31, Missouri Valley 29, Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 13, Indiana Wesleyan 13, St. Thomas (Fla.) 11, Cornerstone (Mich.) 8, Baker (Kan.) 6, Friends (Kan.) 5, Hastings (Neb.) 3, SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 3