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2014 NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Final

May 05, 2014
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By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the 12th-straight edition Embry-Riddle (Fla.) sits atop the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles conclude their regular-season the way they began it, as the NAIA’s No. 1-ranked team, earning their 15th all-time No. 1 ranking, dating back to 2000, after receiving 10 first-place votes and 340 total points.

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.

The defending national champion Eagles won their 10th-straight The Sun Conference (TSC) regular-season title and their sixth-consecutive TSC Tournament championship this season and will carry an 18-3 record and a season-long eight-match winning streak into the NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championship. Embry-Riddle, which is unbeaten against NAIA competition this season, boasts three of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Top 50 NAIA singles players in top-ranked Deni Zmak, No. 30 Jaime Canamares and No. 42 Simon Felix. The Eagles are also one of four NAIA programs—along with No. 3 Georgia Gwinnett and No. 4 Vanguard (Calif.) and No. 7 Westmont (Calif.)—to have two doubles teams ranked among the ITA’s Top 25. Zmak and Felix are the NAIA’s top-rated duo, while Canamares pairs with Patrick Besch to make up the No. 22-ranked tandem.

After winning their 10th-straight Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Tournament championship, the Warhawks of Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) earn their 12th-straight No. 2 rating. The Warhawks, who have now been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in 17-straight polls, accumulated 330 points including a first-place nod. Like Embry-Riddle, Auburn Montgomery is undefeated against NAIA competition this season. The Warhawks are one of four NAIA programs to have four singles players ranked among the ITA’s Top 50 along with No. 3 Georgia Gwinnett, No. 4 Vanguard and No. 7 Westmont. The defending national runners-up will carry a 22-3 record and a 10-match win streak into the national championship. 

Georgia Gwinnett was No. 3 for the fifth-straight edition after accruing 326 points and two first-place votes. The Grizzlies picked up their 11th victory over a ranked opponent by defeating then-No. 10 Xavier (La.), 5-1, to win their unaffiliated grouping tournament on April 26. With the win, Georgia Gwinnett will head into its first-ever national championship with an unblemished 17-0 record. The Grizzlies are one of three teams to have four singles players and two doubles pairs ranked by the ITA, along with No. 4 Vanguard and No. 7 Westmont.

No. 4 Vanguard and No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) round out the top five with 310 and 298 points, respectively. Vanguard holds the No. 4 spot for the fifth-straight poll after winning the Golden State Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships. Lindsey Wilson earns the No. 5 spot after defeating No. 6 Cumberland (Tenn.), 5-3, for the Mid-South Conference (MSC) tournament title on April 26. Vanguard is 18-4 on the season and has not lost to an NAIA opponent, while Lindsey Wilson is 16-2, with one of those losses coming to Cumberland, 5-4, on April 9.

There were no newcomers to the Top 25 for the fifth time this season.

No teams moved more than one position within the poll.

Nine of the 13 conferences and unaffiliated groupings are represented in the final regular-season poll, led by five teams from the SSAC. Five other conferences or unaffiliated groupings boast at least three ranked programs.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and unaffiliated groupings. For the entire 2014 Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.

Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Embry-Riddle (Fla.) has claimed the No. 1 ranking 15 times, including 12-straight… Auburn Montgomery’s (Ala.) 29 top mentions are the most all-time… The Warhawks are followed by former-members Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Fresno Pacific (Calif.) with 23 each, Embry-Riddle with 15 and Oklahoma City with 13 … Embry-Riddle is trying to become the seventh preseason No. 1 to go on to win the national title… The feat was last accomplished by Fresno Pacific in 2011… Two teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2013: Auburn Montgomery and Embry-Riddle… Embry-Riddle has been No. 1 throughout 2014.

2014 NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Final (May 5)
RANK LAST TIME SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (10) 340
2 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (1) 330
3 3 Georgia Gwinnett (2) 326
4 4 Vanguard (Calif.) 310
5 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 298
6 T6 Cumberland (Tenn.) 283
7 T6 Westmont (Calif.) 279
8 8 Belhaven (Miss.) 268
9 9 Xavier (La.) 254
10 10 Bethany (Kan.) 242
11 11 Concordia (Calif.) 232
12 12 Northwestern Ohio 227
13 13 Aquinas (Mich.) 213
T14 T14 Graceland (Iowa) 195
T14 T14 William Carey (Miss.) 195
16 16 Coastal Georgia 178
17 17 Bethel (Tenn.) 162
18 18 Webber International (Fla.) 158
19 19 Davenport (Mich.) 150
20 20 Warner (Fla.) 135
21 22 Pikeville (Ky.) 116
22 21 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 115
23 23 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 105
24 24 Northwood (Fla.) 84
25 25 Oklahoma Baptist 77

Others Receiving Votes: Campbellsville (Ky.) 56; Indiana Wesleyan 46; McPherson (Kan.) 31; Missouri Valley 20; Cumberlands (Ky.) 19; Biola (Calif.) 11; St. Francis (Ill.) 10; Indiana Tech 7; SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) 5; Huntington (Ind.) 4.