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Women’s Tennis Top 25 Poll – Final

May 07, 2012
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By Jake Knabel, NAIA Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the eighth time in the last nine years, Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) will enter NAIA National Championships play as the nation’s No. 1 team. The Warhawks garnered all 13 first-place votes for 343 total points and tops the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the eighth-straight time, the national office announced Tuesday. Auburn Montgomery has also been a unanimous top selection for five-consecutive polls. The Warhawks clinched their 12th berth all-time in the NAIA Tennis National Championships after recording a 6-1 victory over No. 7 Brenau (Ga.) in the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament Championship on April 21.

Qualifiers for the 32nd annual NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championships will be announced today (May 7) by 5 p.m. CDT on NAIA.org. The pairings and bracket will be released Tuesday by 5 p.m. CDT.

For the second poll in-a-row, no changes occurred throughout the rest of the top 11 and Nos. 1 through 5 remained the same for the sixth-consecutive release. No. 2 Fresno Pacific (Calif.), which earned 332 points in the poll, finished its all-time Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) record at an unblemished 102-0, including a 16-0 mark this season. The Sunbirds will make their eighth trip all-time to the National Championships after winning the regular-season league title. No. 3 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), which pulled down 321 points, also grabbed an automatic bid, doing so with a 5-1 win over No. 13 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) in The Sun Conference Tournament Championship on April 21.

The fourth and fifth spots are once again held down by Oklahoma Christian and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) with 310 and 299 points, respectively. Oklahoma Christian lost just a single match in breezing past then-No. 23 Oklahoma Baptist and No. 10 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) to win its unaffiliated group tournament championship. Azusa Pacific concluded GSAC play at 13-2, good for second place behind Fresno Pacific.

Twenty of the Top 25 squads retained their exact same spots from a week ago, and no newcomers crashed this week’s edition. No. 17 Campbellsville (Ky.) and No. 19 Westmont (Calif.) each moved up one position, while No. 12 Shorter (Ga.), No. 18 Lee (Tenn.) and No. 20 Xavier (La.) each slid down one spot. No other fluctuations took place.

Eight of the 13 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll with the GSAC 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 Westmont.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings. The postseason poll will be released on May 22.

Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) pushed its NAIA-leading all-time No. 1 appearances to 65 … 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 … Auburn Montgomery, Fresno Pacific, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and Oklahoma Christian have been rated 1 through 4 in all eight polls this season … Twenty-nine different schools have appeared in at least one poll this season.

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (13) 22-2 343
2 2 Fresno Pacific (Calif.) 20-4 332
3 3 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 18-3 321
4 4 Oklahoma Christian 16-3 310
5 5 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 17-3 299
6 6 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 16-5 286
7 7 Brenau (Ga.) 13-5 279
8 8 Concordia (Calif.) 14-7 266
9 9 William Carey (Miss.) 14-9 253
10 10 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 12-5 243
11 11 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 15-3 231
12 11 Shorter (Ga.) 19-8 226
13 13 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 9-3 209
14 14 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 7-14 201
15 15 Vanguard (Calif.) 9-14 187
16 16 Indiana Wesleyan 22-2 181
17 18 Campbellsville (Ky.) 13-6 158
18 17 Lee (Tenn.) 9-7 154
19 20 Westmont (Calif.) 7-11 145
20 19 Xavier (La.) 7-21 141
21 21 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 11-4 126
22 22 Robert Morris (Ill.) 17-2 115
23 23 St. Thomas (Fla.) 5-4 97
24 24 Oklahoma Baptist 10-8 89
25 25 Marian (Ind.) 21-6 76

Others receiving votes: Northwestern Ohio 68; Davenport (Mich.) 36; Webber International (Fla.) 35; Belhaven (Miss.) 27; Nebraska Wesleyan 26; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 10; Georgetown (Ky.) 9; Bethel (Kan.) 8; Indiana Southeast 4; Missouri Valley 3; Milligan (Tenn.) 1.