KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the second-straight edition, Xavier (La.) tops the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Gold Nuggets became the third program to top the rankings after upsetting then No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett, 5-3, on April 26 to win their unaffiliated grouping tournament. This is the fifth all-time No. 1 ranking for Xavier, which received 12 first-place votes and 343 total points this edition.
The 24 qualifiers for the 2014 NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championship will be released today at approximately 5 p.m. CDT. The official national championship seeds and bracket will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, May 6, by 5 p.m. CDT.
Xavier is 15-6 on the season, with 4-of-6 losses coming against NCAA Division I competition. The Gold Nuggets—who boast three singles players ranked among the Top 50 in the NAIA by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), led by No. 2 Nour Abbes—will carry a four-match win streak into the national championship.
Georgia Gwinnett holds the No. 2 spot with 331 points after its aforementioned loss to Xavier on April 26. 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. Like Xavier, the Grizzlies have a trio of singles players ranked among the ITA’s Top 50 in the NAIA.
Lindsey Wilson earned the final first-place nod and accumulated 321 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 championship, 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. The Blue Raiders have an NAIA-best four singles players ranked among the ITA’s Top 50 in the NAIA, falling between No. 14 and No. 30.
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 88-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 years 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 championship.
There were no newcomers to the Top 25 for the third time this season.
No teams moved more than one position within the poll.
Eleven of the 13 conferences and unaffiliated groupings are represented in the final regular-season poll, led by four teams from TSC.
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 fifth 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 five… 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 among 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 – Final (May 5)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Xavier (La.) (12)||343|
|3||3||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (1)||321|
|4||4||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||309|
|7||7||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||277|
|17||17||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||157|
|19||19||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||145|
|21||22||St. Thomas (Fla.)||114|
|23||22||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||110|
Others Receiving Votes: Southeastern (Fla.) 63; Georgetown (Ky.) 52; Warner (Fla.) 33; William Carey (Miss.) 24; Bethel (Kan.) 19; Cumberlands (Ky.) 15; Reinhardt (Ga.) 13; Evangel (Mo.) 11; Cumberland (Tenn.) 6.