By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Georgia Gwinnett sits atop the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Grizzlies received 11 first-place votes and 312 total points to earn their first-ever No. 1 ranking.
In just its second season of intercollegiate competition, Georgia Gwinnett is 12-2 on the year, including a perfect 7-0 record against NAIA competition. The Grizzlies two losses have come against NCAA Division III then-No. 2 Emory (Ga.) (7-2) and NCAA Division II then-No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic (Ga.) (9-0).
Xavier (La.) accumulated 296 points en route to the No. 2 ranking. The Gold Nuggets are 8-4 on the season, after rattling off four-straight wins against Coastal Georgia (7-2), then-No. 14 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (9-0), then-No. 1 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (5-4) and NCAA Division I Oral Roberts (Okla.) (5-4).
Auburn Montgomery extends its streak of top five rankings to 84-straight polls, dating back to April 2, 2003. The three-time defending national champion Warhawks received the final first-place vote and 292 total points to land at No. 3. The Warhawks fall from the No. 1 spot after losing four-straight matches to then-No. 5 Xavier (5-4) and a trio of ranked NCAA Division II schools: then-No. 9 Rollins (Fla.) (6-3), then-No. 6 Lynn (Fla.) (8-1) and then-No. 3 Barry (Fla.) (8-1).
No. 4 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 5 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) round out the top five with 281 and 278 points, respectively. Lindsey Wilson is 1-3 on the season, with a 9-0 win over Georgetown (Ky.) and three losses to NCAA Division I opponents: Murray State (Ky.) (6-1), Eastern Kentucky (5-2) and Austin Peay (Tenn.) (4-3). SCAD Savannah is 1-2 , with a 9-0 win over Webber International (Fla.) and losses to then-No. 2 Georgia Gwinnett (8-1) and NCAA Division I South Carolina State (6-1).
There were no newcomers to the Top 25 poll.
Within the poll, No. 2 Xavier and No. 15 Cumberland (Tenn.) each moved up a poll-high three positions, while four schools fell two spots in the poll: No. 3 Auburn Montgomery, No. 5 SCAD Savannah, No. 16 Coastal Georgia and No. 19 William Carey (Miss.).
Ten of the 13 conferences and unaffiliated groupings are represented in the third regular-season poll, led by four teams from the Southern States Athletic Conference.
The fourth regular-season Top 25 poll will be released on April 1.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and unaffiliated groupings. For the entire 2014 Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Georgia Gwinnett earns its first-ever No. 1 ranking in this week’s poll… Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) leads all NAIA programs with 72 all-time No. 1 rankings… The Warhawks are followed by Brenau (Ga.) with 12, former-member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) with eight, and former-member Shorter (Ga.) and Xavier (La.) with three… Auburn Montgomery topped each poll from Feb. 11, 2004, to May 1, 2010, a span of 47-straight No. 1 rankings, an NAIA record… The next closest streak is just eight by Fresno Pacific, which garnered the top selection in all eight polls in 2011… Auburn Montgomery has been ranked in the top five since April 2, 2003… Four teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2013: Auburn Montgomery, Brenau, William Carey (Miss.) and Xavier… Two teams have held the No. 1 ranking in 2014: Auburn Montgomery and Georgia Gwinnett.
2014 NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (March 18)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Georgia Gwinnett (11)||312|
|3||1||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (1)||292|
|4||3||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||281|
|5||3||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||278|
|10||10||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||218|
|14||14||SCAD Atlanta (Ga.)||179|
|19||17||William Carey (Miss.)||134|
|20||20||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||122|
|24||24||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||76|
Others Receiving Votes: Graceland (Iowa) 56; Belhaven (Miss.) 53; St. Thomas (Fla.) 40; Bethel (Kan.) 31; Southeastern (Fla.) 15; Cumberlands (Ky.) 11; Tennessee Wesleyan 8; McPherson (Kan.) 8; Ashford (Iowa) 5; Evangel (Mo.) 3.