By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The top-five teams locked down their positions, led by No. 1 Concordia (Calif.), in the third regular-season edition of the 2013 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Top 25 poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles gathered their eighth-straight top ranking after posting 653 total points and 22-of-23 first-place votes. Concordia is followed in the same order as last week's top five: No. 2 Texas at Brownsville, No. 3 Biola (Calif.), No. 4 Madonna (Mich.) and No. 5 Midland (Neb.).
Concordia is riding one of the NAIA's longest all-time win streak, currently at 47-straight, as the squad heads into a top 10 showdown Tuesday at No. 10 Westmont (Calif.). The Eagles are 9-0 on the season and have not lost since Dec. 3, 2011 in the NAIA National Championship final against Texas at Brownsville. The win streak is currently No. 4 in the NAIA record book.
For the third-straight time, Texas at Brownsville is in the No. 2 spot. The Ocelots collected 632 total points and earned the remaining first-place vote. With four wins against Top 25 opponents, Texas at Brownsville is 11-0 on the year and faces Southwest (N.M.) on Saturday.
No. 3 Biola posted 611 points and holds steady in the ranking thanks to a 10-0 start. Setter Gracee Gallarda leads an offense that ranks second in the NAIA in assists per set (13.3) and fourth in kills per set (14.0). The Eagles take on their second-straight ranked opponent, No. 17 Vanguard (Calif.), on Tuesday.
In the fourth position, Madonna checks in with 582 total points. The Crusaders are tied for second in the NAIA with 18 wins and is one of only six undefeated programs. Madonna is in the top 10 statistically in all three major offensive categories -- fourth in kills per set (14.0), fifth in assists per set (13.0) and seventh in hitting percentage (0.274).
With the most wins in the NAIA and off to a school-record 20-0 start, Midland rounds out the top five. The Warriors, who have piled up 15 wins in straight-set fashion this year, stand with 576 total points. Midland tangles with Nebraska Wesleyan on Tuesday before hosting a pair of Great Plains Athletic Conference teams this weekend, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) and No. 19 Dordt (Iowa).
No. 25 Grand View (Iowa) jumps back in the Top 25 for the first time since the Preseason poll. Recently, the Vikings rattled off six-straight wins before a 3-2 loss at the hands of Davenport (Mich.) on Sept. 21. They are currently 11-8 on the year and begin Midwest Collegiate Conference play Wednesday at Mount Mercy (Iowa).
Rocky Mountain falls out this week after holding a 24th position. After a 8-0 start to the year, the Battlin' Bears have hit a rough stretch going 2-3 in their last five contests.
Both No. 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 13 Missouri Baptist make the biggest improvement this week, sliding up five positions. On the flip side, No. 16 Columbia (Mo.) and No. 18 Georgetown (Ky.) tumble down 10 spots. The Cougars, who were the Preseason No. 2 pick, tripped up to unranked Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) on Sept. 14. Georgetown has dropped three of its last five matches in the span of a week.
Twelve of 23 conferences are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Golden State Athletic Conference with five ranked teams, Concordia, Biola, Westmont, Vanguard and No. 21 The Master's (Calif.). The Great Plains Athletic Conference lands four programs in the poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The fourth regular-season Top 25 will be announced Oct. 1.
For the complete volleyball ratings calendar, click here.
Notes: (All information as of 2000) The Golden State Athletic Conference has now led all conferences each week with the most representatives -- four in the Preseason Top 25 and five each in Weeks One, Two and Three... No. 16 Columbia (Mo.) is in its lowest position since a No. 17 (tie) ranking on Sept. 5, 2007... No. 2 Texas at Brownsville now has been in the top three for 29-straight polls... With the top ranking, Concordia (Calif.) pushes its all-time total to 11 No. 1 positions and is the fifth school (since 2000) to have double-digit totals... For the last 24 polls, Concordia has either been ranked Nos. 1 or 2, dating back to Oct. 11, 2011... Former member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) has the most No. 1 appearances with 70, followed by former member National American (S.D.) with 32, Columbia (Mo.) with 20 and Texas at Brownsville with 18… Overall, 32 different teams have been ranked this year, with 19 of those ranked in each of the four polls this year (including Preseason)... Concordia has the longest active streak in the Top 25 as it has been ranked for 89-straight polls, dating back to the start of the 2006 season; right behind is Biola (Calif.) with 88-consecutive mentions followed by Columbia (76), Texas at Brownsville (51) and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (41)... There has only been one program that has been able to maintain the No. 1 ranking for an entire season with Fresno Pacific accomplishing the feat in 2004, 2008 and 2009… Last year, 38 teams were ranked at least on one occasion, with 13 of those being included in all 13 polls.
2013 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Sept. 24)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD*||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Concordia (Calif.) (22)||9-0||653|
|2||2||Texas at Brownsville (1)||11-0||632|
|6||7||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||13-1||550|
|8||13||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||15-0||498|
|21||22||The Master's (Calif.)||10-3||205|
|22||23||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||15-2||194|
|25||RV||Grand View (Iowa)||11-8||135|