Texas at Brownsville is ranked No. 1 for consecutive weeks thanks to its continued dominance on the court. Head coach Todd Lowery’s squad has dropped only two sets all year and has twice defeated teams ranked No. 2 – Columbia (Mo.) on Sept. 2 and Lee (Tenn.) on Sept. 9. The Scorpions, backed by stars Danica Markovic and Paula Barros, look forward to another match-up with an elite opponent. They will take on fourth-ranked Embry-Riddle (Fla.) on Friday as part of the Scorpion Invitational Tournament.
Lee remained second despite the 3-0 home loss to Texas at Brownsville. The Lady Flames bounced back to win their next two matches to help pick up 624 total points in this week’s poll. No. 3 Azusa Pacific (Calif.), No. 4 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 5 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) each moved up one spot. Azusa Pacific tallied 614 points, Embry-Riddle piled up 591 points and Point Loma Nazarene garnered 562 points.
Three teams are making their first appearances in the poll in 2011. Cal State San Marcos checks in at No. 17, while Grand View (Iowa) and Great Falls (Mont.) rank 24th and 25th, respectively. Preseason No. 1 Fresno Pacific (Calif.) dropped out of the Top 25 after resting idle since the release of last week’s poll. Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Indiana Wesleyan also dropped out of the rankings.
Rocky Mountain (Mont.) has leaped up four spots in each of the last two polls since being ranked 18th in the preseason. The 10th-ranked Battlin’ Bears scored their third victory over a top-10 opponent when they knocked off then-No. 7 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), 3-1, on Sept. 8. Outside hitter Sara Brunner spurred the upset by pounding out 12 kills.
The Sunbirds’ fall from the rankings leaves the Golden State Athletic Conference with five teams in the poll, still good enough to lead all conferences for the third-straight time in 2011.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents. The next poll will be announced on Sept. 20.
Notes: (all information as of 2000) Fresno Pacific (Calif.) is unranked for the first time in 132 polls … Azusa Pacific (Calif.) now holds the NAIA’s longest consecutive poll-streak with 74-straight appearances dating back to the final poll of the 2004 season … Concordia (Calif.) comes in right after Azusa Pacific with 62-consecutive top-25 rankings .. With two No. 1-rankings all-time, Texas at Brownsville is now tied with former NAIA member California Baptist for the sixth-most appearances atop the poll … Great Falls (Mont.) is ranked for the first time since Sept. 19, 2007 … Cal State San Marcos and Grand View (Iowa) are ranked for the first time.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Texas at Brownsville (23)||11-0||653|
|3||4||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||13-2||614|
|5||6||Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||8-0||562|
|8||8||College of Idaho||7-1||504|
|10||14||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||13-2||477|
|11||7||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||7-3||425|
|17||NR||Cal State San Marcos||13-5||276|
|24||RV||Grand View (Iowa)||12-2||193|
|25||RV||Great Falls (Mont.)||17-1||111|
Others receiving votes: Fresno Pacific (Calif.) 110; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 106; Indiana Wesleyan 102; Lubbock Christian (Texas) 35; Carroll (Mont.) 34; Point Park (Pa.) 28; Evangel (Mo.) 22; Concordia (Ore.) 21; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 18; Georgetown (Ky.) 9; Grace (Ind.) 4; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 4; Jamestown (N.D.) 3 Trinity Christian (Ill.) 3; College of the Ozarks (Mo.) 1; Wiley (Texas) 1; Spring Hill (Ala.) 1; Asbury (Ky.) 1; Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 1; Cornerstone (Mich.) 1; Daemen (N.Y.) 1; Friends (Kan.) 1; Texas Wesleyan 1.