May 07, 2012
By -, -
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fresno Pacific (Calif.) maintained its hold on the top spot for the 23rd-straight NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll and will enter NAIA National Championships play at No. 1 for the third-consecutive season, the national office announced Monday. The Sunbirds collected all 12 first-place votes for 312 points. Fresno Pacific finished the regular season with a record of 22-1 and an unbeaten 14-0 Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) mark. Sunbird standout Nathan Martinet took the final NAIA Player of the Week award by winning a singles title at the Ojai Tournament April 26 – 29.
Qualifiers for the 61st annual NAIA Men’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.
In a poll that saw very little change, 23 of 25 teams retained the exact same positions they held in the May 1 release, and the top-five squads have not differed the entire 2012 season (eight polls). No. 2 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), idle since capturing The Sun Conference Tournament title on April 21, gathered 302 points. Third-ranked Oklahoma Christian, who won its unaffiliated group tournament by shutting out then-No. 24 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), 9-0, in the championship match on April 27, notched 290 points in the poll.
Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) again take the Nos. 4 and 5 spots in the rankings with 284 and 272 points, respectively. The Cougars, who stand at 19-2 overall, finish their regular-season slate today with a GSAC match versus No. 9 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.). Meanwhile, the Warhawks await their National Championship placement after concluding the season with a narrow 5-4 victory over then-No. 11 William Carey (Miss.) 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.
The only fluctuation occurring in the poll was the flip-flop of No. 21 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and No. 22 Shorter (Ga.). The Tigers breezed through the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship with 5-0 victories over Purdue Calumet (Ind.) and Judson (Ill.) on the way to the tournament title.
Not a single program dropped from the rankings this week.
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, No. 6 Vanguard (Calif.), No. 8 Westmont (Calif.), No. 9 Point Loma Nazarene and No. 11 Concordia (Calif.). 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 postseason poll will be released on May 22.
Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Fresno Pacific (Calif.) increased its all-time No. 1 appearances to 23, which trails only Auburn Montgomery’s (Ala.) NAIA-leading 27 No. 1s and ties Azusa Pacific (Calif.) for second with 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 23-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 … Thirty-one different schools have appeared in at least one poll this season.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Fresno Pacific (Calif.) (12)||22-1||312|
|4||4||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||19-2||284|
|5||5||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||16-7||272|
|9||9||Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||12-10||227|
|10||10||William Carey (Miss.)||16-4||225|
|12||12||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||18-5||207|
|19||19||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||11-9||129|
|21||22||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||15-4||110|
|23||23||Webber International (Fla.)||15-7||88|
|24||24||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||7-7||67|
Others receiving votes: Spring Arbor (Mich.) 56; Pikeville (Ky.) 55; McPherson (Kan.) 50; Biola (Calif.) 30; Bethel (Tenn.) 8; Northwood (Fla.) 7; Asbury (Ky.) 6; Hastings (Neb.) 5; Davenport (Mich.) 3; Graceland (Iowa) 1; Georgetown (Ky.) 1; Oklahoma Baptist 1; Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) 1; SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) 1.