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Women's Tennis Top 25 Poll No. 4

April 03, 2012
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By Jake Knabel, NAIA Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) swept all first-place votes for the second-straight week in the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Warhawks’ 25-match win streak was snapped on March 16 with a 5-4 loss to NCAA Division III Lynn (Fla.), but they responded with big wins over a pair of ranked teams since the release of the March 20 poll. Auburn Montgomery used that momentum to reel in each of the 13 first-place votes and 343 points in this week’s rankings.

The Warhawks scored a pair of 7-2 triumphs over Top 25 squads in a four-day span, taking down then-No. 16 Lee (Tenn.) on March 21 and then-No. 24 Xavier (La.) on March 24. Ana Veselinovic, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) top-ranked NAIA women’s singles player, continued her dominant play with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Lee’s Tonya Walters and a 6-2, 6-0 dismantling of Xavier’s Kourtney Howell, ranked No. 35 in singles by the ITA.

The rest of the top 15 teams is identical to the March 20 poll. No. 2 Fresno Pacific (Calif.), which improved to 98-0 all-time in Golden State Athletic Conference action with a 9-0 victory over Biola (Calif.) on Monday, gathered 332 points. Third-ranked Embry-Riddle (Fla.) had a 13-match win streak broken up by Lynn, but remains undefeated in The Sun Conference at 5-0. The Eagles garnered 321 points. No. 4 Oklahoma Christian and No. 5 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) round out the top five with 309 and 300 points, respectively.

No holdover from the previous poll advanced more than one position in 2012’s fourth regular-season edition. Robert Morris (Ill.) made the biggest splash by going from unranked to No. 22. Behind last week’s NAIA Women’s Tennis Player of the Week Ana Kostic, the Eagles have won eight-consecutive matches, including a 9-0 thumping of NCAA Division III Dominican (Ill.) on Sunday. Oklahoma Baptist’s modest drop from No. 21 to 23rd this week marks the largest fall among ranked teams. The Bison have dropped three in-a-row, including two lopsided defeats to fellow Sooner Athletic Conference foes. Meanwhile, Xavier (No. 24) is the only school to fall from the rankings.

Nine of the 13 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll with the Golden State Athletic Conference leading all leagues with six Top 25 members: Fresno Pacific, Azusa Pacific, No. 6 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.), No. 8 Concordia (Calif.), No. 15 Vanguard (Calif.) and No. 21 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 17.

Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) pushed its NAIA-leading all-time No. 1 appearances to 62 … Brenau (Ga.) is next closest with 10 No. 1 rankings, followed by Fresno Pacific (Calif.) with eight, Shorter (Ga.) with three and Northwood (Fla.) with two … Auburn Montgomery topped each poll from May 5, 2004, to May 1, 2010, a span of 47-straight No. 1 rankings, which is an NAIA record … The next closest streak is just eight by Fresno Pacific, which garnered the top selection in all eight polls in 2011 … Northwood gained its only two No. 1 rankings in school history in 2003 when it went on to win the national championship … Auburn Montgomery won the next six national titles until Fresno Pacific ended that run in 2010 with a championship of its own … Robert Morris (Ill.) is ranked for the first time in school history.

RANK PVS SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (13) 15-2 343
2 2 Fresno Pacific (Calif.) 15-4 332
3 3 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 15-2 321
4 4 Oklahoma Christian 7-3 309
5 5 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 14-2 300
6 6 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 10-5 285
7 7 Brenau (Ga.) 9-3 280
8 8 Concordia (Calif.) 7-5 264
9 9 William Carey (Miss.) 11-6 257
10 10 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 6-3 241
11 11 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 11-2 236
12 12 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 10-2 222
13 13 Shorter (Ga.) 16-7 215
14 14 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 5-12 197
15 15 Vanguard (Calif.) 6-3 191
16 17 Indiana Wesleyan 16-2 171
17 16 Lee (Tenn.) 8-4 167
18 18 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 7-3 150
19 20 Campbellsville (Ky.) 8-4 131
20 19 St. Thomas (Fla.) 4-4 129
21 21 Westmont (Calif.) 4-7 126
22 NR Robert Morris (Ill.) 9-1 109
23 21 Oklahoma Baptist 6-7 107
24 23 Marian (Ind.) 19-6 89
25 25 Davenport (Mich.) 1-5 84

Others receiving votes: Xavier (La.) 78; Webber International (Fla.) 36; Bethel (Kan.) 35; Belhaven (Miss.) 29; Indiana Southeast 26; Northwestern Ohio 24; Milligan (Tenn.) 5; Taylor (Ind.) 5; Nebraska Wesleyan 4; Northwood (Fla.) 3; Cumberlands (Ky.) 1; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 1; The Master's (Calif.) 1.