By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Concordia (Calif.) begins the 2013 season with the No. 1 ranking in the Tachikara-NAIA Coaches' Preseason Top 25 poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles will attempt to become the first team since 2010 to be the preseason No. 1 and win the national championship in the same season. With 21-of-22 first-place nods, Concordia posted 622 total points.
The rest of the top-five remained unchanged from the 2012 Postseason Top 25: No. 2 Columbia (Mo.), No. 3 Texas at Brownsville, No. 4 Biola (Calif.) and No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist. Columbia earned the remaining first-place vote after finishing 2012 as the national runner-up.
Last year, Concordia collected its first-ever national championship after a 3-1 victory against Columbia. The Eagles have now went five-straight polls with the No. 1 ranking. They enter the 2013 campaign on a 38-match win streak after going a perfect 38-0 and earning the first undefeated season since former NAIA member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) did so in 2009. Concordia opens the year Thursday against William Jessup (Calif.) at the Biola/Red Lion Hotel Anaheim Summer Slam in La Mirada, Calif.
Four programs are newcomers, with three of those being ranked at least once during the 2012 season -- No. 13 Midland (Neb.), No. 21 Eastern Oregon and No. 22 Point Park (Pa.). No. 23 Northwestern (Iowa) is the fourth rookie and was last ranked Aug. 16, 2011 (No. 15) in the Preseason Top 25.
Five programs fell out of the Top 25 since the last ranking on Dec. 5, 2012 (Postseason).
No. 14 Park (Mo.) holds the best improvement vaulting nine spots. Out of the American Midwest Conference, the Pirates lost just one starter from a team that went 27-11 last season. Senior Lauren Purdy, an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American, returns for coach Mike Talamantes.
No. 15 Viterbo (Wis.) tumbles the farthest, down seven positions. The V-Hawks will have to replace the void of four departing All-Midwest Collegiate Conference First Team selections.
Nineteen of 23 conferences are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Golden State Athletic Conference with four ranked teams, Concordia, Biola, No. 9 The Master's (Calif.) and No. 16 Westmont (Calif.). The American Midwest Conference, with Columbia, Park and No. 17 (tied) Missouri Baptist, lands a trio of schools in the poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents. The first regular-season Top 25 will be announced Sept. 10.
For the complete volleyball ratings calendar, click here.
Notes: (All information as of 2000) With the top ranking, Concordia (Calif.) pushes its total to eight No. 1 positions... Former member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) has the most No. 1 appearances with 70, followed by former member National American (S.D.) with 32, Columbia (Mo.) with 20 and Texas at Brownsville with 18… No. 7 Georgetown (Ky.) is in the top 10 for the first time since 2009... Concordia has the longest active streak in the Top 25 as it has been ranked for 86-straight polls, dating back to the start of the 2006 season; right behind is Biola (Calif.) with 85-consecutive mentions followed by Columbia (Mo.) (73), Texas at Brownsville (48) and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (38)… For the last 21 polls, Concordia has either been ranked No. 1 or 2... There has only been one program that has been able to maintain the No. 1 ranking for an entire season with Fresno Pacific accomplishing the feat in 2004, 2008 and 2009… With an absence in the Top 25, IU East has its streak of 13-straight polls stopped, which was tied for ninth on the active list... Last year, 38 teams were ranked at least on one occasion, with 13 of those being included in all 13 polls.
2013 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll (Aug. 20)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Concordia (Calif.) (21)||38-0||622|
|2||2||Columbia (Mo.) (1)||42-2||597|
|3||3||Texas at Brownsville||30-2||586|
|6||10||College of Idaho||24-8||501|
|8||7||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||29-5||459|
|9||11||The Master's (Calif.)||27-8||443|
|19||20||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||31-14||270|
|20||18||Cal State San Marcos||30-15||220|
|22||RV||Point Park (Pa.)||30-10||198|
|24||23||Grand View (Iowa)||29-11||187|
Others receiving votes: Davenport (Mich.) 130; St. Francis (Ill.) 103; Doane (Neb.) 83; Vanguard (Calif.) 60; Spring Hill (Ala.) 56; Indiana East 51; Southern Oregon 39; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 38; Kansas Wesleyan 27; Dordt (Iowa) 10; Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 10; Campbellsville (Ky.) 8; Indiana Tech 5; Jamestown (N.D.) 4; Baker (Kan.) 4; College of the Ozarks (Mo.) 3; Bryan (Tenn.) 3.
^ Ranking in 2012 Postseason Top 25 Poll (Dec. 5, 2012)