March 20, 2012
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fresno Pacific (Calif.) saw its 14-match winning streak fall by the wayside on March 13, but that did not stop it from keeping hold of the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Sunbirds dropped an 8-1 decision to NCAA Division II third-ranked Armstrong Atlantic (Ga.) one week ago as the doubles duo of Nathan Martinet and Kirill Sinitsyn notched the lone win. Fresno Pacific, which earned all 11 first-place votes for 281 points, got back on track with a 6-3 victory over Hawaii Pacific on March 14 to improve to 14-1 on the season.
The rest of the top five teams also retained their positions. Like Fresno Pacific, squads ranked Nos. 2 through 5 have anchored the same poll position in each of the four releases in 2012. No. 2 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) received 272 points after earning its seventh shutout of the season on Monday with a 9-0 blanking of Oklahoma Baptist. No. 3 Oklahoma Christian, whose only two losses have come to teams ranked in the top five in NCAA Division II, gathered 260 points. No. 4 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and No. 5 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) again round out the top five with 256 and 243 points, respectively.
No. 16 Cumberland (Tenn.) and No. 17 Belhaven (Miss.) made the biggest waves in the new poll. Cumberland is ranked for the first time since April 5, 2011, on the strength of back-to-back dominant wins over ranked foes on March 6 and 7. Behind TranSouth Athletic Conference Player of the Week Manual Marcelo, the Bulldogs claimed a 9-0 triumph over then-No. 16 Warner (Fla.) and an 8-1 victory over then-No. 18 Webber International (Fla.). Meanwhile, Belhaven has won four-straight matches since the last poll release, including Southern States Athletic Conference wins over Mobile (Ala.) and Spring Hill (Ala.).
On the other hand, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (No. 20), Tennessee Wesleyan (No. 21) and St. Thomas (Fla.) (No. 23) tumbled out of the ratings, while Shorter (Ga.) dropped 12 spots to No. 22 this week. The Hawks were beaten 9-0 by Lee (Tenn.) in their most recent match on March 17. New to this week’s poll are Cumberland, No. 21 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) and No. 25 Northwestern Ohio.
Eight 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 Vanguard (Calif), No. 7 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.), No. 8 Concordia (Calif.) and No. 10 Westmont (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 April 3.
Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Fresno Pacific (Calif.) increased its all-time No. 1 appearances to 19, 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 19-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 Warhawks did so in 2008 … Both Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) and Northwestern Ohio are ranked for the first time in program history.
|RANK||PVS||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Fresno Pacific (Calif.) (11)||14-1||281|
|4||4||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||11-1||256|
|5||5||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||7-6||243|
|7||8||Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||7-4||227|
|11||13||William Carey (Miss.)||5-2||192|
|12||12||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||10-4||187|
|20||24||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||4-3||105|
|21||RV||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||3-4||102|
|23||18||Webber International (Fla.)||11-5||85|
|24||19||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||5-6||69|
Others receiving votes: Pikeville (Ky.) 56; McPherson (Kan.) 36; Northwood (Fla.) 34; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 34; Tennessee Wesleyan 22; Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) 12; Biola (Calif.) 11; Asbury (Ky.) 4; Mobile (Ala.) 3; St. Thomas (Fla.) 3; Cumberlands (Ky.) 1; Missouri Valley 1; Taylor (Ind.) 1.