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Top 25 Poll - Preseason

August 16, 2011
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After capturing the 2010 NAIA Volleyball National Championship, Fresno Pacific (Calif.) will enter 2011 as the top-ranked team in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. Fresno Pacific received 16 of the 23 first-place votes and totaled 645 points.

"We're very honored to be recognized in this way, especially considering the high-level of play throughout the NAIA and particularly within the GSAC," first-year Fresno Pacific head coach Kelly Winter said. "At this point we're not too concerned with rankings, but it is a challenge we welcome and accept as we look to become the best team we are capable of becoming while carrying on the tradition of Fresno Pacific volleyball."

Winter takes over for longtime head coach Dennis Janzen, who compiled an 867-168 record and six national titles in 26 seasons at the helm. Winter, Fresno Pacific's all-time assists leader (1997-2000), spent the last five seasons serving as an assistant under Janzen. Winter inherits a squad that returns Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year and NAIA First Team All-American Martina Gregusova. Gregusova and company will look to win their fifth-straight national title in 2011.

Columbia (Mo.), last season's national runner-up, comes in at No. 2 after garnering three first-place votes. Third-ranked Lee (Tenn.) also tallied a trio of first-place nods. No. 4 Texas at Brownsville (one first-place vote) and No. 5 Biola (Calif.) round out the top five.

Three schools that went unranked in last season's final poll, No. 22 Georgetown (Ky.), No. 23 Lubbock Christian (Texas) and No. 24 Missouri Baptist, made the jump into the preseason poll. College of Idaho, ranked 16th to close out 2010, made the largest leap within the Top 25, moving up six spots to No. 10.

The GSAC dominates with five of its members appearing in the top 12: No. 1 Fresno Pacific, No. 5 Biola (Calif.), No. 6 Azusa Pacific (Calif.), No. 9 Concordia (Calif.) and No. 12 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.).

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents. The first regular season poll will be announced on Sept. 6.

Nots: Fresno Pacific entered last season's NAIA National Championship ranked No. 3 before cruising to its fourth-straight title... 2011 marks the fourth year-in-a-row that Fresno Pacific has been rated the preseason No. 1... Fresno Pacific had been ranked No. 1 for 43-consecutive polls until being knocked off its perch with the release of last year's Nov. 2 poll... Lee (Tenn.) spent the final three weeks of 2010 as the top-ranked team... Columbia (Mo.), this year's preseason No. 2, has been ranked in the top 10 of every poll since Sept. 12, 2007... The last school other than Fresno Pacific or Lee to be ranked No. 1 was National American (S.D.) in the 2007 preseason poll.

RANK LAST TIME^ SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2010 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 3 Fresno Pacific (Calif.) (16) 35-2 645
2 5 Columbia (Mo.) (3) 42-3 629
3 1 Lee (Tenn.) (3) 39-1 610
4 2 Texas at Brownsville (1) 38-2 595
5 7 Biola (Calif.) 28-10 574
6 8 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 29-8 535
7 9 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 31-3 522
8 12 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 33-4 484
9 11 Concordia (Calif.) 24-10 481
10 16 College of Idaho 25-7 458
11 10 Taylor (Ind.) 35-8 448
12 15 Doane (Neb.) 27-8 423
12 17 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 22-13 423
14 14 Southern Oregon 24-5 388
15 4 Northwestern (Iowa) 36-2 365
16 21 Bellevue (Neb.) 34-14 332
17 13 Indiana Tech 34-6 307
18 19 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 25-9 273
19 22 Oklahoma Baptist 26-10 258
20 17 Dordt (Iowa) 32-8 244
21 23 Indiana Wesleyan 33-11 220
22 RV Georgetown (Ky.) 25-12 215
23 RV Lubbock Christian (Texas) 25-8 151
24 RV Missouri Baptist 21-17 129
25 25 Aquinas (Mich.) 29-12 125

Others receiving votes: Indiana East 93; Viterbo (Wis.) 69; Madonna (Mich.) 64; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 47; Campbellsville (Ky.) 47; Westmont (Calif.) 46; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 37; Jamestown (N.D.) 31; Carroll (Mont.) 23; Point Park (Pa.) 18; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 15; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 13; Grand View (Iowa) 10; Shawnee State (Ohio) 10; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 8; College of the Ozarks (Mo.) 7; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 5; Asbury (Ky.) 3; Hastings (Neb.) 3; Concordia (Ore.) 1; Grace (Ind.) 1; Friends (Kan.) 1; Spring Hill (Ala.) 1; Evangel (Mo.) 1.

^2010 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Top 25 Final Poll.