May 01, 2012
By -, -
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the 22nd-straight NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, Fresno Pacific (Calif.) reigns No. 1, the national office announced Tuesday. The streak breaks the previous record of 21-straight No. 1 appearances set by Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), which controlled the top spot for the entire 2007 – 2009 seasons. The Sunbirds completed a perfect 14-0 Golden State Athletic Conference slate and have clinched a trip to the NAIA Tennis National Championships by winning the regular-season league title. They received 343 points and all 13 first-place votes.
The rest of the top six teams also retained the positions they held down in the April 17 release. The top-five squads have gone unchanged the entire 2012 season (seven polls). No. 2 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) collected 332 points in the poll after breezing by both Northwood (Fla.) and No. 17 Warner (Fla.) to win The Sun Conference Tournament. Third-ranked Oklahoma Christian won its unaffiliated group tournament by shutting out then-No. 24 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), 9-0, in the championship match on April 27. The Eagles notched 318 points in the poll.
Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Auburn Montgomery again hold down the Nos. 4 and 5 spots in the rankings with 312 and 297 points, respectively. The Cougars’ are 19-2 overall and finished in second place in the GSAC with an 11-2 league mark. The Warhawks narrowly held off then-No. 11 William Carey (Miss.), 5-4, in the title match of the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament on April 21. With the win, Auburn Montgomery clinched its 13th-consecutive National Championship appearance.
No. 19 Lewis-Clark State makes the biggest advancement this poll edition, moving up five spots after its second place finish at its respective unaffiliated group tournament. Included in the Warriors tournament run was a 5-4 semifinal win over then-No. 21 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) on April 26. No. 6 Vanguard (Calif.) moved up three positions thanks to a 7-2 victory over then-No. 7 Concordia (Calif.) on April 24 to end its regular season.
Martin Methodist (Tenn.) experienced the largest freefall, as it did not even receive a single vote after being ranked No. 19 in the previous poll. The RedHawks, the No. 3 seed in their unaffiliated group tournament, were upset 5-2 by sixth-seeded SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) in a quarterfinal match on April 27.
A tie at No. 25 in the April 17 poll resulted in 26 ranked teams. Twenty-five of those teams retained positions in this week’s poll, meaning there are no new squads to the current Top 25.
Nine 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, Vanguard, No. 8 Westmont (Calif.), No. 9 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) and No. 11 Concordia. The Southern States Athletic Conference is next in line with five Top 25 teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings. The final poll will be released on May 7.
Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Fresno Pacific (Calif.) increased its all-time No. 1 appearances to 22, 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 22-straight No. 1 rankings breaks Auburn Montgomery’s NAIA men’s tennis record 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.
|RANK||LAST||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Fresno Pacific (Calif.) (13)||22-1||343|
|4||4||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||19-2||312|
|5||5||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||16-7||297|
|9||6||Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||12-10||253|
|10||11||William Carey (Miss.)||16-4||244|
|12||12||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||18-5||224|
|19||24||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||11-9||142|
|22||25||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||15-4||106|
|23||23||Webber International (Fla.)||15-7||95|
|24||21||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||7-7||92|
Others receiving votes: McPherson (Kan.) 59; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 53; Pikeville (Ky.) 50; Biola (Calif.) 41; Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) 17; Northwood (Fla.) 12; Bethel (Tenn.) 11; Taylor (Ind.) 3; Hastings (Neb.) 1; Asbury (Ky.) 1; Davenport (Mich.) 1; Mobile (Ala.) 1; Oklahoma Baptist 1; SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) 1.