KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After upsetting then No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett, 5-3, to win its unaffiliated grouping tournament, Xavier (La.) becomes the third program to top the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll this season, the national office announced Tuesday. The Gold Nuggets earn their fourth all-time No. 1 ranking and first of 2014 after receiving 12 first-place votes and 343 total points.
Xavier is 15-6 on the season, with 4-of-6 losses coming against NCAA Division I competition. The Gold Nuggets will carry a four-match win streak into the NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championships, which will be held at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala., from May 13-17.
Georgia Gwinnett, which had been ranked No. 1 for three-straight polls, earns the No. 2 spot with 328 points after falling to Xavier in its unaffiliated grouping tournament championship match. The Grizzlies are 14-4 on the season, with all four losses coming against Top 5 ranked programs in their respective divisions. The loss to Xavier was Georgia Gwinnett’s first loss to an NAIA opponent this season.
Lindsey Wilson earned the final first-place nod and accumulated 325 total points en route to the No. 3 position. The Mid-South Conference regular-season and tournament champions are 15-4 on the year and are unbeaten in NAIA competition. Heading into the national championships, the Blue Raiders are riding a 12-match winning streak dating back to March 29. During that streak, Lindsey Wilson has swept each of its 12 opponents including three who were ranked among the Top 25 nationally.
No. 4 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 5 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) round out the top five with 309 and 301 points, respectively. The Warhawks extend their streak of top five rankings to 87-straight polls, dating back to April 2, 2003.
The three-time defending national champion Warhawks brought home their eighth-consecutive Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Tournament title after going 18-7 this year, including a 10-0 mark in conference play. Auburn Montgomery has won six-straight matches in April, after a difficult March during which the Warhawks dropped six matches. Embry-Riddle won its third The Sun Conference (TSC) Tournament title in four seasons and has yet to lose to an NAIA opponent this season. The Eagles are 15-5 overall and will bring an eight-match winning streak into the national championships.
McPherson (Kan.) was the lone newcomer to the Top 25 this edition and is making its first-ever Top 25 appearance after winning the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.
Warner (Fla.) (No. 25), which made its first-ever Top 25 appearance in the previous poll fell out of the Top 25.
Within the poll, No. 22 St. Thomas (Fla.) moved up a poll-high two positions, while Campbellsville (Ky.) fell three spots, landing at No. 24.
Eleven of the 13 conferences and unaffiliated groupings are represented in the sixth regular-season poll, led by four teams from The Sun Conference.
The final regular-season Top 25 poll will be released on May 5.
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) Xavier (La.) earned its fourth all-time 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 Xavier with four… 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… Three teams have held the No. 1 ranking in 2014: Auburn Montgomery, Georgia Gwinnett and Xavier.
2014 NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 6 (April 29)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Xavier (La.) (12)||343|
|3||3||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (1)||325|
|4||4||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||309|
|7||7||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||274|
|17||16||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||161|
|19||19||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||144|
|22||24||St. Thomas (Fla.)||107|
|22||23||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||107|
Others Receiving Votes: Southeastern (Fla.) 58; Georgetown (Ky.) 53; Reinhardt (Ga.) 42; Warner (Fla.) 34; William Carey (Miss.) 20; Cumberlands (Ky.) 14; Evangel (Mo.) 10; Bethel (Kan.) 5; Cumberland (Tenn.) 3.