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Women’s Tennis Top 25 Poll – Postseason

May 22, 2012
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By Jake Knabel, NAIA Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The women’s tennis dynasty established at Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) just keeps on rolling. The Warhawks have been placed atop the rankings for the ninth-straight poll and have been tabbed a unanimous No. 1 for the sixth-straight time, the national office announced Tuesday. Auburn Montgomery, which cruised to its eighth national championship in the last nine years by winning the 2012 national title, collected all 13 first-place votes for 343 points in the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll.

NAIA National Coach of the Year Rolando Vargas guided his team to wins over Vanguard (Calif.), Concordia (Calif.), Oklahoma Christian and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) on the way to the program’s 12th national championship overall. Senior No. 1 singles player Ana Veselinovic earned the Marvin P. Richmond Outstanding Player award after compiling a record of 2-0 in singles play and a 4-0 mark at No. 1 doubles at the championships. Teammate Jade Curtis took Outstanding Player honors in 2011 when the Warhawks also grabbed the title banner.

The only fluctuation amongst the top five is the swap at Nos. 2 and 3. Embry-Riddle leapfrogged Fresno Pacific (Calif.) due to the Eagles’ 5-3 victory over the Sunbirds in the semifinals of the National Championships, ending a stretch of six-consecutive years in which the title match featured Auburn Montgomery versus Fresno Pacific. Embry-Riddle received 332 points, while the Sunbirds reeled in 321. Fresno Pacific had been No. 2 in the previous eight polls, while Embry-Riddle had held down the No. 3 ranking in each of those polls.

Oklahoma Christian and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) remain at the Nos. 4 and 5 positions with 310 and 299 points, respectively. The Eagles advanced to the semifinals by topping the Cougars 5-3 on May 17. Oklahoma Christian has anchored the No. 4 ranking in all nine polls this season, while Azusa Pacific has come in at No. 5 in seven-straight rankings.

No. 8 Lindsey Wilson’s (Ky.) three-spot improvement from the from the May 7 ranking marks the largest jump in this week’s edition. The Blue Raiders pulled off the biggest surprise of the championships when they upset then-No. 6 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.), 5-2, to advance to the quarterfinal round. No. 1 singles/doubles player Trina Slapeka starred for Lindsey Wilson, breezing to a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles to spur the upset. That loss sent Point Loma Nazarene back three positions to No. 9, marking the biggest fall this week.

All squads that appeared in the May 7 poll release retained Top 25 positions in the postseason edition.

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. 7 Concordia, Point Loma Nazarene, No. 15 Vanguard and No. 18 Westmont (Calif.).

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings.

Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) pushed its NAIA-leading all-time No. 1 appearances to 67 … 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 comprised the top four in all nine polls this season … Twenty-nine different schools have appeared in at least one poll this season.

RANK LAST SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (13) 26-2 343
2 3 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 23-4 332
3 2 Fresno Pacific (Calif.) 22-4 321
4 4 Oklahoma Christian 18-4 310
5 5 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 18-4 299
6 7 Brenau (Ga.) 14-6 285
7 8 Concordia (Calif.) 15-8 274
8 11 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 17-4 269
9 9 William Carey (Miss.) 15-10 251
9 6 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 16-6 251
11 12 Shorter (Ga.) 21-9 227
12 10 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 13-6 226
13 13 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 9-4 209
14 14 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 8-15 196
15 15 Vanguard (Calif.) 10-15 193
16 16 Indiana Wesleyan 25-5 179
17 17 Campbellsville (Ky.) 14-8 155
18 19 Westmont (Calif.) 7-11 148
19 20 Xavier (La.) 7-22 142
20 18 Lee (Tenn.) 9-7 141
21 22 Robert Morris (Ill.) 17-3 128
22 21 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 11-4 125
23 23 St. Thomas (Fla.) 5-4 93
24 24 Oklahoma Baptist 10-8 79
25 25 Marian (Ind.) 21-6 74

Others receiving votes: Northwestern Ohio 65; Davenport (Mich.) 42; Bethel (Kan.) 36; Nebraska Wesleyan 33; Webber International (Fla.) 26; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 20; Belhaven (Miss.) 14; Missouri Valley 12; Georgetown (Ky.) 10; Indiana Southeast 3; Milligan (Tenn.) 1.