By Mark Colachico, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Rocky Mountain (Mont.) held onto the nation’s No. 1 ranking in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the second-straight week, the national office announced Tuesday. The Battlin’ Bears earned 21-of-22 first-place votes and 622 points.
Rocky Mountain held onto its top spot in the poll behind a pair of victories over Westminster (Utah) and Montana-Western to open its Frontier Conference schedule. The Battlin’ Bears are in the midst of a 12-match winning streak that includes eight three-set sweeps and four victories over top-5 opponents. This is the first time since 2000 that a Frontier Conference member has held the top spot for consecutive weeks.
Despite earning the only other first-place vote, Texas at Brownsville held steady at No. 2 with 602 points. The Ocelots went a perfect 5-0 over the past seven days that included three straight wins over top-15 opponents – then-No. 11 Wayland Baptist (Texas), then-No. 9 Columbia (Mo.) and then-No. 15 Oklahoma Baptist – to close out the week.
Concordia (Calif.) remained at No. 3 with 582 points, as the Eagles opened up Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) play with victories over then-No. 19 The Master’s (Calif.) and Westmont (Calif.). Concordia is the three-time defending GSAC regular season champions and has advanced to the NAIA National Championship eight-straight years.
Making the largest leap in this week’s poll is Park (Mo.), moving up eight spots to No. 4 with 549 points. The Pirates are one of only three teams in this week’s Top 25 without a loss so far this season. Park went a perfect 4-0 last week that included victories over then-No. 4 Viterbo (Wis.) and then-No. 5 Northwestern (Iowa) to extend its winning-streak to 15-straight matches dating back to the 2013 season.
Moving up four spots to No. 5 is Columbia with 524 points. Despite a loss to No. 2 Texas at Brownsville, the Cougars picked up victories over then-No. 15 Oklahoma Baptist and then-No. 11 Wayland Baptist at the Wayland Baptist Coca-Cola Classic. Eight-time defending and 20-time American Midwest Conference (AMC) champions Columbia open conference play tonight against St. Louis Pharmacy (Mo.).
Only one newcomer joins the Top 25 this week in No. 25 Coastal Georgia, as the Mariners moved into the Top 25 for the first time in the four-year history of the program. The largest drops in this week’s poll were Viterbo and Grand View (Iowa) with both teams falling four spots.
Thirteen of the 23 conferences are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Great Plains Athletic Conference’s four teams – No. 7 Northwestern (Iowa), No. 10 Midland (Neb.), No. 16 Hastings (Neb.), and No. 21 Dordt (Iowa). The GSAC and the AMC land a trio of schools in the poll for the second-straight week.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents. The third regular-season Top 25 will be announced Sept. 23.
For the complete volleyball ratings calendar, click here.
Notes: (All information as of 2000) Rocky Mountain (Mont.) becomes the first Frontier Conference member to earn back-to-back No. 1 rankings … Rocky Mountain appeared in only four polls during the 2013 season … Five Frontier Conference members have appeared in the Top 25 since 2000 … Rocky Mountain becomes ninth team to hold No. 1 ranking since 2000 … Former member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) has the most No. 1 appearances with 70, followed by former member National American (S.D.) with 33 … Concordia (Calif.), which ranks fifth all-time with 14 No. 1 mentions, holds the longest active streak in the Top 25 at 101-straight polls … Biola (Calif.) is second with 100-consecutive mentions followed by Columbia (Mo.) (88) and Texas at Brownsville (63) … Embry-Riddle (Fla.) had its active streak snapped this week after the Eagles were mentioned in 52 straight polls … 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 2009.2014 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 2 (Sep. 16)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 Record||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (21)||13-2||622|
|13||11||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||7-6||373|
|14||10||Grand View (Iowa)||7-4||357|
|22||22||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||12-2||180|
|23||24||Cal State San Marcos||12-5||144|
Others receiving votes: Jamestown (N.D.) 107; Westmont (Calif.) 90; College of Idaho 52; Grace (Ind.) 48; Ashford (Iowa) 40; Bryan (Tenn.) 39; St. Catharine (Ky.) 37; Montana Tech 31; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 27; Concordia (Neb.) 15; Cornerstone (Mich.) 11; Carroll (Mont.) 7; Baker (Kan.) 6; Kansas Wesleyan 4; Mobile (Ala.) 3; The Master’s (Calif.) 3.