By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
NAIA Match of the Week
No. 10 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (2-3, 0-0 TSC) vs. No. 3 Texas at Brownsville (4-0, 0-0 RRAC)
Friday, Sept. 6 | 2 p.m. CDT | Sid Richardson Center | Fort Worth, Texas
Wesleyan Hughes Classic
• No. 10 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 3 Texas at Brownsville match up in a early-season top-10 showdown Friday at the Texas Wesleyan Hughes Classic.
• Texas at Brownsville is coming off a 30-2 season and an appearance in the 2012 NAIA National Championship semifinal round. Embry-Riddle finished 29-6 last year and advanced to pool play of the national championship tournament.
• These squads last met on Aug. 31, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Ocelots prevailed 3-1 over Embry-Riddle, despite losing the first set. The Texas at Brownsville defense limited the Eagles to a .090 hitting percentage.
• Texas at Brownsville is a perfect 4-0 this year with three wins against Top 25 teams. The Ocelots swept No. 2 Columbia (Mo.) Aug. 31 in the NAIA Match of the Week. In addition, they took down No. 14 Park (Mo.) and No. 24 Grand View (Iowa).
• Embry-Riddle has gotten off to a slower start this year with a 2-3 record. But, those three losses have come against No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist, No. 11 Madonna (Mich.) and No. 21 Eastern Oregon.
• Since 2000, Texas at Brownsville and Embry-Riddle rank Nos. 4 and 5 in consecutive appearances in the Top 25. The Ocelots have been nationally ranked for 48-straight weeks and the Eagles are next at 38-consecutive rankings.
• For Texas at Brownsville, 2012 NAIA Second Team All-American Ana Guerra ranks seventh in the NAIA in blocks per set (1.540). She swatted back a season-high eight blocks in the 3-0 win over Park on Aug. 31. She is a part of a team-effort to rank third nationally in blocks per set (3.27). Adding to the talent is 2012 NAIA First Team All-American Danica Markovic and 2012 NAIA All-America Honorable Mention pick Michelle Marques.
• Embry-Riddle relies on a solid defense, ranking seventh in the NAIA in digs/set with 20.11. Junior libero Hannah Gray leads the defense with 7.79 digs/set, good for second in the nation. Sophomore setter Tamires Ferreira ranks 11th in the country with 10.63 assists/set.
• Head coach Todd Lowery stands 138-9 (.939) in his fifth season at Texas at Brownsville. He led his squad to the 2011 national championship title. In his previous four seasons, the Ocelots have averaged 34 wins per year. Prior to Texas at Brownsville, Lowery spent six years at National American (S.D.) where he won the 2002 and 2006 NAIA national championships. In 10 collegiate seasons, Lowery is 349-31 (.918) which puts him No. 12 on the active wins list and his .918 win percentage is No. 1 on the active chart.
• Embry-Riddle head coach Joslynn Gallop is the most decorated in Eagle history with a 203-75 (.730) mark in her ninth season. Her win percentage is good for No. 10 on the active list.
• The NAIA Volleyball Match of the Week is selected by the fans via the official NAIA Facebook page – Play NAIA. Match of the Week voting begins Tuesday evenings with the winner being announced Wednesday at 5 p.m. CDT. Click HERE to visit the Play NAIA Facebook page.
Some information courtesy of Embry-Riddle and Texas at Brownsville Sports Information Departments
This Week Around NAIA Volleyball
• With a 7-0 start to the year, defending national champion and top-ranked Concordia (Calif.) is riding a 45-match win streak dating back to the start of last year. Next up for the Eagles is No. 20 Cal State San Marcos on Sept. 10. The streak is currently tied for fourth-longest in NAIA history -- former member Lee (Tenn.) won 45-straight during 2003-04 season. Columbia (Mo.) tops the list with 102-straight that spanned 1998 and 2000 seasons. The last loss for the Eagles came Dec. 3, 2011 in the NAIA National Championship final against Texas at Brownsville.
• The current top-five ranked teams will look to continue their early-season success this week. They are a combined 28-3 (.903) thus far (through Sept. 5). No. 1 Concordia, No. 3 Texas at Brownsville and No. 4 Biola (Calif.) are all undefeated. No. 2 Columbia (Mo.) is 4-1 with the sole loss against No. 3 Texas at Brownsville on Aug. 31. No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist dropped two of its first eight matches with losses against No. 8 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and No. 11 Madonna (Mich.).
• No. 13 Midland (Neb.) has posted a school-best 14-0 start to its season. Included in that streak are 12 sweeps where the Warriors have not lost a set. Midland opens up the Great Plains Athletic Conference portion of its schedule on Sept. 11 at Concordia (Neb.).
• Evangel (Mo.) head coach Mary Whitehead has a shot at career win No. 300 Friday against Ozarks (Mo.). She is 299-176 (.629) and would become the 19th active coach to reach the 300-win milestone.
• The next coach in line for win No. 300 is Biola's (Calif.) Aaron Seltzer. With a 7-0 start to the year (as of Sept. 5), Seltzer stands 296-104 (.740). His next chance to move up the ladder is at the Vanguard (Calif.) Tournament on Sept. 13.
• Overall, four Top 25 match-ups are scheduled this upcoming weekend:
o Friday: No. 3 Texas at Brownsville vs. No. 10 Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
o Friday: No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist vs. No. 23 Northwestern (Iowa)
o Friday: No. 6 College of Idaho at No. 21 Eastern Oregon
o Saturday: No. 12 Bellevue (Neb.) vs. No. 23 Northwestern (Iowa)
• To view the complete volleyball scoreboard, click here.
• The first regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced Sept. 10. In the Preseason Top 25 (Aug. 20), Concordia (Calif.) earned 21-of-22 first-place votes to secure the No. 1 position. National runner-up Columbia (Mo.) landed the second spot, followed by No. 3 Texas at Brownsville, No. 4 Biola (Calif.) and No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist. For the complete poll, click here.
• The first national NAIA Player of the Week will be conducted Sept. 10. For the complete Player of the Week schedule, click here.
For the Record (Through games played Sept. 5)
• No. 13 Midland (Neb.) holds the most wins in the NAIA with a perfect and school-record 14-0 mark. No. 16 Westmont (Calif.) is second in victories with a 10-0 record.
• Of teams that have played at least two matches, 22 clubs are undefeated. Last week at this time, 27 clubs were undefeated.
• Twelve of those undefeated teams are at least 5-0 on the young season.
• Twenty-five programs are searching for their first win of the year.
• On Aug. 27, Wiley (Texas) swept NCAA Division I Grambling (La.), 3-0. The win was the Lady Wildcats 45th consecutive match over fellow historically black college opponents dating back more than five years. The streak includes 15 consecutive victories over teams from the NCAA Division I Southwestern Athletic Conference.
• Cumberland (Tenn.) head coach Dwayne Deering celebrated his 500th career win on Aug. 28 against Tennessee Temple. He is the ninth active head coach to join the 500-win club.
• Midland was the first volleyball program to play a varsity match this year. The Warriors upended Great Falls (Mont.), 3-0, on the afternoon of Aug. 16.
• Midland and No. 25 Carroll (Mont.) played out the first Top 25 battle of the season with the Warriors taking a 3-2 match on Aug. 17.
• Heading into this year, Taylor (Ind.) tops all NAIA programs in 33 years of competition with 1,131 victories. Columbia (Mo.) is right behind in second place with 1,120 wins, but accomplished that mark in 12 fewer seasons.
• Overall, six programs have eclipsed the 1,000-win all-time threshold: Taylor, Columbia, Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio), Georgetown (Ky.), Briar Cliff (Iowa) and Madonna (Mich.).
• Madonna head coach Jerry Abraham tops all head coaches in career wins with a 1,005-263 (.793) record (heading into 2013). He has coached all 26 years at Madonna, since the inception of the program in 1987. Paul Swanson of Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) is looming behind Abraham with 1,002 victories (heading into 2013).
• Todd Lowery of Texas at Brownsville is No. 1 on the active win percentage chart with a .918 clip (345-31 record). With a .880 mark (587-80 record), Columbia (Mo.) head coach Melinda Wrye-Washington stands second.
• No. 2 Columbia (Mo.) holds the American Midwest Conference (AMC) record with 156-straight league wins. Riding the current streak heading into 2013, the Cougars last AMC loss came on Oct. 3, 2002 to Missouri Baptist. Also, Columbia has won or shared the last 20-straight AMC regular-season championships.
National Statistics (Through games played Sept. 5)
• Trinity Ojo of Columbia (Mo.) leads the NAIA with a .549 hitting percentage in 18 sets.
• In the kills category, Jessica Israel of Concordia (Calif.) is No. 1 with 4.9 kills per set. Three individuals have posted 29 kills in a single-match, which is the highwater mark.
• Crystal Taporco of Friends (Kan.) leads all players with 5.4 blocks per set. Twenty players have tallied an NAIA-high nine blocks in a single match.
• With 67 assists against Oklahoma Baptist, Madonna's (Mich.) Evia Prieditis is No. 1 on the single-match list. Lauren Burt of Mid-Continent (Ky.) has the highest assists average (11.7).
• Abbey Schlater of Berea (Ky.) leads all players with 50 digs in a single match -- done against IU Kokomo on Aug. 24. Amanda McKenzie of Carlow (Pa.) has averaged 9.2 digs per set, which is tops in the NAIA.
For a complete look at the NAIA national statistical leaders, click here.
Looking Ahead to the National Championship
• For the sixth-straight year, Sioux City, Iowa, will play host to the 34th annual NAIA National Championship. The final site event will take place Dec. 3 – 7 at the Tyson Events Center.
• The National Championship Opening Round will occur Nov. 23 with 12 matches going on at various campus sites. Those 12 winners will meet up with the top 12 seeds, who earned an Opening Round bye, for a 24-team national championship final site event in Sioux City.
• The 36-team National Championship Opening Round field will be announced Nov. 17.
|1. Concordia (Calif.)||86|
|2. Biola (Calif.)||85|
|3. Columbia (Mo.)||73|
|4. Texas at Brownsville||48|
|5. Embry-Riddle (Fla.)||38|
|6. Missouri Baptist||27|
|7. Indiana Wesleyan||22|
|8. Grand View (Iowa)||20|
|T9. Cal State San Marcos||14|
|T9. Westmont (Calif.)||14|
|T9. Madonna (Mich.)||14|
Total No. 1 Ratings (Through 2013 Preseason Poll, since 2000 Season)
|1. Fresno Pacific (Calif.)*||70|
|2. National American (S.D.)*||33|
|3. Columbia (Mo.)||20|
|4. Texas at Brownsville||18|
|5. Concordia (Calif.)||8|
|T6. Dickinson State (N.D.)||3|
|T6. Lee (Tenn.)*||3|
|8. California Baptist*||2|
National Championship Superlatives
Most All-Time Championship Appearances
|1. Fresno Pacific (Calif.)*||21||97-25||2011|
|2. Columbia (Mo.)||19||79-38||2012|
|3. Georgetown (Ky.)||15||30-39||2012|
|T4. California Baptist*||14||52-19||2010|
|T4. Montevallo (Ala.)*||14||35-30||1995|
|T4. Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)*||14||46-25||2011|
|7. Brigham Young – Hawaii*||13||82-10||1997|
|T8. Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||12||26-26||2011|
|T8. Biola (Calif.)||12||46-22||2012|
|T8. Madonna (Mich.)||12||27-25||2012|
Most Wins In Championship Appearances
|1. Fresno Pacific (Calif.)*||97-25|
|2. Brigham Young-Hawaii*||82-10|
|5. California Baptist*||52-19|
|T6. Biola (Calif.)||46-22|
|T6. Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)*||46-25|
|8. Western Oregon*||39-19|
|9. National American (S.D.)*||37-11|
|T10. Concordia (Calif.)||35-9|
|T10. Montevallo (Ala.)*||35-30|
Programs with Most Championship Titles
|1. Brigham Young-Hawaii*||8|
|2. Fresno Pacific (Calif.)*||6|
|4. Columbia (Mo.)||3|
|T5. California Baptist*||2|
|T5. National American (S.D.)*||2|
|T7. Azusa Pacific (Calif.)*||1|
|T7. Concordia (Calif.)||1|
|T7. Dickinson State (N.D.)||1|
|T7. Puget Sound (Wash.)*||1|
|T7. St. Mary’s (Calif.)*||1|
|T7. Texas at Brownsville||1|