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Top 25 Poll No. 1

February 21, 2012
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By Jake Knabel, NAIA Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The run at the top continues for Fresno Pacific (Calif.), which is making its 17th-straight No. 1 appearance in the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Sunbirds, just as in the Preseason Poll, are a unanimous No. 1 choice having received all 11 first-place votes for 281 points. Fresno Pacific already holds dominant victories over top-10 opponents in No. 6 Westmont (Calif.), No. 7 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) and No. 8 Vanguard (Calif.) since beginning its 2012 campaign on Feb. 6.

The rest of the top 11 also remains intact from the preseason edition. No. 2 Embry Riddle (Fla.), which is 4-1 with its only loss coming to NCAA Division II second-ranked Barry University (Fla.), garnered 272 points. The Eagles are followed by No. 3 Oklahoma Christian’s 261 points. Azusa Pacific (Calif.), tied at No. 4 with Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) in the previous poll, is now alone at No. 4 with 255 points. No. 5 Auburn Montgomery received 243 points.

Fresno Pacific won its three top-10 duels by a combined score of 24-3, getting the most resistance from No. 6 Westmont at 7-2. Westmont won two of three doubles matches, but dropped all six singles matches. Third-ranked singles player Cledson Carvalho of Fresno Pacific defeated No. 32 Tim Goranson from Westmont, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. In The Sun Conference action, No. 2 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) topped then No. 20 SCAD Savannah (Ga.), 9-0, on Feb. 18. The Eagles dispatched of the Bees in straight sets in all six singles matches.

No team appearing in the preseason poll moved up more than one spot in the first regular-season edition. No. 12 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 15 Bethany (Kan.) were the only holdovers to improve their positions. No. 18 Warner (Fla.) makes the biggest waves this week, going from “receiving votes” to the nation’s top 20. Led by The Sun Conference player of the week in freshman Patrick Frandji, Warner upset then No. 18 Webber International (Fla.), 5-4, on Feb. 15.

No. 22 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) is the other newcomer to the poll. Warner and Olivet Nazarene replace SCAD Savannah (No. 20), Missouri Valley (tie No. 25) and Spring Arbor (tie No. 25) in the rankings.

Ten of the 13 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll with the Golden State Athletic Conference leading the pack with six ranked members: Fresno Pacific, Azusa Pacific, No. 6 Westmont, No. 7 Point Loma Nazarene, No. 8 Vanguard and No. 11 Concordia (Calif.).

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings. The next poll will be released on March 6.

Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Fresno Pacific (Calif.) increased its all-time No. 1 appearances to 17, which trails only Auburn Montgomery’s (Ala.) NAIA-leading 27 No. 1s and Azusa Pacific’s (Calif.) 23 top mentions … Oklahoma City’s 13 No. 1 rankings are fourth most, followed by SCAD Savannah (Ga.) with two … The Sunbirds’ active streak of 17-straight No. 1 rankings is second all-time behind Auburn Montgomery’s streak of 21-consecutive top ratings, which spanned the 2007 – 2009 seasons … Fresno Pacific has now been the preseason No. 1 for three-straight years and 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 Senators did so in 2008.

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Fresno Pacific (Calif.) (11) 5-0 281
2 2 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 4-1 272
3 3 Oklahoma Christian 4-0 261
4 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 2-0 255
5 4 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) 1-2 243
6 6 Westmont (Calif.) 1-2 239
7 7 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 0-2 227
8 8 Vanguard (Calif.) 2-3 217
9 9 Xavier (La.) 3-1 210
10 10 Shorter (Ga.) 2-2 196
11 11 Concordia (Calif.) 2-1 194
12 13 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 2-3 181
13 12 William Carey (Miss.) 0-1 176
14 14 Aquinas (Mich.) 2-1 161
15 16 Bethany (Kan.) 2-2 154
16 15 St. Thomas (Fla.) 0-3 149
17 17 Lee (Tenn.) 2-1 128
18 RV Warner (Fla.) 1-1 124
19 19 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 4-1 122
20 18 Webber International (Fla.) 4-1 103
21 21 Tennessee Wesleyan 0-0 94
22 NR Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 2-0 91
23 23 Campbellsville (Ky.) 0-0 82
24 22 Belhaven (Miss.) 2-0 65
25 24 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 0-0 60

Others receiving votes: Spring Arbor (Mich.) 59; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 51; Missouri Valley 29; Northwestern Ohio 24; Oklahoma Baptist 18; Biola (Calif.) 18; Cumberland (Tenn.) 12; Northwood (Fla.) 7; McPherson (Kan.) 4; Pikeville (Ky.) 3; Brescia (Ky.) 1.