By Travis Rae, NAIA Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Xavier (La.) sits atop the fifth regular-season edition of the 2013 NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Gold Nuggets received 8-of-13 first-place votes for 334 points to secure their first No. 1 ranking in school history – since the 2000 season – by edging out Brenau (Ga.) by two points.
Xavier has won six-straight matches and made a five-spot improvement, which is tied for the biggest jump in the poll this week. The Gold Rush defeated NCAA Division I Jackson State (Miss.), 5-2, on April 14. Prior to that match, on April 6 Xavier was victorious over No. 3 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), 6-3. The Gold Rush currently hold a 14-7 record.
Falling one position to No. 2 is Brenau, who received four first-place votes with 332 points. Holding steady at Nos. 3-4 this week is Auburn Montgomery and SCAD Savannah (Ga.). Auburn Montgomery collected the last first-place vote and tallied 323 points, while SCAD Savannah notched 316 points. Rounding out the top five is William Carey (Miss.) with 297 points.
Along with Xavier, SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) made a five-spot improvement from the last Coaches’ Poll. The Bees jumped from No. 24 to No. 19 this week. SCAD Atlanta defeated Tennessee Wesleyan, 8-1, on April 6. Six days later, the Bees were defeated by then-No. 1 Brenau in a 6-3 defeat.
Joining the Top 25 this week is No. 21 Milligan (Tenn.) and No. 24 Ashford (Iowa). Milligan returns to the poll after missing one week. The Buffaloes are 17-2 and currently winners of six in-a-row. On April 13, Milligan defeated then-No. 20 Lee (Tenn.), 7-2, and the next day defeated Reinhardt (Ga.), 8-1. Ashford joins the Coaches’ Poll for the first time in school history, since the 2000 season and have won eight-straight matches. On April 13, the Saints defeated St. Ambrose (Iowa) and Grand View (Iowa), both by a 9-0 score. Ashford continued the winning ways the next day against NCAA Division II Upper Iowa, 6-1, and NCAA Division III Augustana (Ill.), 7-2.
Falling from the poll is Belhaven (Miss.) (No. 23) and Nebraska Wesleyan (No. 25).
Ten of the 13 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll with the Southern States Athletic Conference and The Sun Conference with five teams each. The Mid-South Conference and Golden State Athletic Conference follow with three teams apiece.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings. The sixth regular-season poll will be announced on April 30.
Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) has been ranked No. 1 a total of 69 times., the most all-time… Brenau (Ga.) is next closest with 11 No. 1 rankings, followed by former-NAIA member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) with eight, former-NAIA member Shorter (Ga.) with three and Northwood (Fla.) with two … Auburn Montgomery topped each poll from Feb. 11, 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 has been ranked in the top five since, Feb. 11, 2004… The last time a non-Southern States Athletic Conference School was No. 1, was when former-NAIA member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) claimed the No. 1 ranking during the entire 2011 season.
2013 Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 – No. 5
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||6||Xavier (La.) (8)||14-7||334|
|2||1||Brenau (Ga.) (4)||11-3||332|
|3||3||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (1)||11-8||323|
|4||4||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||10-2||316|
|5||2||William Carey (Miss.)||10-7||297|
|6||5||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||14-2||292|
|7||10||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||7-7||270|
|14||18||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||9-6||189|
|18||17||St. Thomas (Fla.)||6-8||166|
|19||24||SCAD Atlanta (Ga.)||5-1||138|
Others receiving votes: Nebraska Wesleyan 71; Belhaven (Miss.) 52; Davenport (Mich.) 48; Georgetown (Ky.) 27; Bethel (Kan.) 21; Northwestern Ohio 16; Robert Morris (Ill.) 13; Hope International (Calif.) 11; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 7; Indiana Southeast 5.