By Travis Rae, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the first time since May 3, 2009, Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) has claimed the No. 1 ranking in the 2013 NAIA Men's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Warhawks collected 5-of-13 first-place votes and tallied 335 points to edge Embry-Riddle (Fla.) by two points for the top spot.
Auburn Montgomery is 10-3 this season and 5-2 since March 9th. In Auburn Montgomery's Spring Invitational, the Warhawks defeated then-No. 14 Campbellsville (Ky.), 9-0, and then-No. 12 Belhaven (Miss.), 9-0, on March 9. The following day, Auburn Montgomery continued to knock off ranked teams by defeating then-No. 17 Graceland (Iowa), 9-0, and then-No. 10 Xavier (La.), 5-4. The winning streak came to an end on March 13, when the Warhawks lost to NCAA Division II Lynn (Fla.), 5-4, and fell one day later to NCAA Division II Barry (Fla.), 5-4. On March 15, Auburn Montgomery got back on the winning track by defeating NCAA Division II Rollins (Fla.), 7-2.
Embry-Riddle received five first-place votes and notched 333 points falling to No. 2. The Eagles are 4-0 since March 5 with wins over NCAA Division I Belmont (Tenn.) (6-1), St. Thomas (Fla.) (9-0), then-No. 14 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (8-1), and NCAA Division II Midwestern State (Texas) (7-2). Embry-Riddle is 10-2 on the season.
Receiving the last three first-place votes and holding steady at No. 3 is Vanguard (Calif.) with 328 points. The Lions are 14-0 this season. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) stays at No. 4 with 307 points. Rounding out the top five is No. 5 Westmont (Calif.) with 295 points.
Bethel (Tenn.) makes the biggest jump this week, improving 14 spots, from No. 24 to No. 10. The Wildcats are 13-0 on the season. In the last five matches for the Wildcats, they have defeated then-No. 14 Olivet Nazarene (6-3), Morningside (Iowa) (9-0), NCAA Division I Murray State (Ky.) (5-2), Missouri Baptist (9-0) and Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (9-0).
Joining the Top 25 this week is No. 24 St. Thomas and No. 25 Martin Methodist. St. Thomas defeated NCAA Division III Penn State Abington, 9-0, on March 5 and the next day was victorious over NCAA Division III Saint Vincent (Pa.), 9-0, to extend its winning streak to three matches. Martin Methodist is currently 3-6 on the season with victories over then-No. 16 Warner, 5-4, on March 7 and Missouri Baptist, 9-0, on March 16.
Falling out of the Top 25 is Graceland (Iowa) (No.17) and Georgetown (No. 23).
Eleven of the 13 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Mid-South Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference with four teams each.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings. The fourth regular-season poll will be announced on April 2.
Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Auburn Montgomery's (Ala.) 27 top mentions are the most all-time, followed by former-NAIA members Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Fresno Pacific (Calif.), who each have 23 ... Oklahoma City has appeared at No. 1 a total of 13 times, while SCAD Savannah (Ga.) has topped the poll twice ... Fresno Pacific 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 ... This is the first week this season that Embry-Riddle (Fla.) does not sit on top the poll.
2013 Men's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 - No. 3
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (5)||10-3||335|
|2||1||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (5)||10-2||333|
|3||3||Vanguard (Calif.) (3)||14-0||328|
|4||4||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||3-2||307|
|6||6||William Carey (Miss.)||4-1||288|
|12||13||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||5-1||216|
|18||14||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||3-7||162|
|23||25||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||15-3||90|
|24||RV||St. Thomas (Fla.)||4-5||79|
|25||NR||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||3-6||77|
Others receiving votes: Davenport (Mich.) 64; Graceland (Iowa) 58; Webber International (Fla.) 49; Indiana Wesleyan 47; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 16; Asbury (Ky.) 11; Hope International (Calif.) 8; Georgetown (Ky.) 6; Missouri Valley 4; Warner (Fla.) 3.