KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Embry-Riddle (Fla.) has claimed the No. 1 ranking in the 2013 NAIA Men's Tennis Coaches' Preseason Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles collected 8-of-11 first-place votes and tallied 279 points to earn the No. 1 spot.
Embry-Riddle is led by NAIA No. 1 ranked singles player Patrick Besch, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). The ITA also ranks the Eagles doubles team of Besch and Simon Felix No. 2 in the NAIA. Last season, Embry-Riddle was knocked out of the 2012 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship in the semifinals by former-NAIA member Oklahoma Christian, 5-4.
Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) collected two first-place votes and notched 271 points to come in at No. 2. The Warhakws return first team All-American Nicolas Pinones-Haltenhoff and second team All-American Bence Toth to this year's team. No. 3 belongs to Vanguard (Calif.), who tallied the last first-place vote and received 265 points. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Concordia (Calif.) come in at Nos. 4 and 5, tallying 245 and 243 points, respectively.
No. 13 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) brings back the No. 4 doubles team of Diego Gonsalvez and Julian Kurz, according to ITA. The Tigers make the biggest movement up the poll, jumping seven spots from its final ranking of last season.
A total of seven teams are new to the poll after going unranked in the final rating: No. 16 Graceland (Iowa), No. 17 McPherson (Kan.), No. 18 Pikeville (Ky.), No. 22 Georgetown (Ky.), No. 23 Coastal Georgia, No. 24 Biola (Calif.) and No. 25 Lee (Tenn.).
Ten of the 13 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll with the Mid-South Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference with five teams each in the Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings. The first regular-season poll will be announced on Feb. 19.
Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Auburn Montgomery's (Ala.) 27 top mentions are the most all-time, followed by former-NAIA members Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Fresno Pacific (Calif.), who each have 23 ... Oklahoma City has appeared at No. 1 a total of 13 times, while SCAD Savannah (Ga.) has topped the poll twice ... Fresno Pacific became the sixth preseason top selection to go on to win the national title in 2011 ... Auburn Montgomery was the last to accomplish the feat prior to Fresno Pacific, as the Warhawks did so in 2008 ... This is the first time Embry-Riddle (Fla.) has been ranked No. 1.
2013 Men's Tennis Coaches' Preseason Top 25
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||3||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (8)||20-4||279|
|2||5||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (2)||17-8||271|
|3||6||Vanguard (Calif.) (1)||15-11||265|
|4||10||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||19-6||245|
|6||9||William Carey (Miss.)||17-5||235|
|13||20||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||15-5||168|
|20||23||Webber International (Fla.)||15-7||116|
|21||24||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||10-2||100|
Others receiving votes: Indiana Wesleyan 55; Davenport (Mich.) 49; Missouri Valley 41; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 23; St. Francis (Ill.) 14; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 13; Tennessee Wesleyan 6; Asbury (Ky.) 4; Hastings (Neb.) 3.
^ Ranking from 2012 Postseason Coaches Poll