By Mark Colachico, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third-straight week, Rocky Mountain (Mont.) held onto the nation’s No. 1 ranking in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll according to an announcement Tuesday by the national office. The Battlin’ Bears earned 22-of-23 first-place votes and 653 points.
Behind the strength of 14 straight victories, Rocky Mountain held onto its top spot in the poll after improving to 15-2 on the season following wins over Montana State Northern and Great Falls (Mont.) in Frontier Conference matches. The Battlin’ Bears have not dropped a set since September 6 against then-No. 8 Biola (Calif.). This is the first time since 2000 that a Frontier Conference member has held the top spot for consecutive weeks.
Texas at Brownsville held steady at No. 2 with 632 points after receiving one first-place vote. The Ocelots have won 10 straight matches and are a perfect 3-0 in Red River Athletic Conference play.
Concordia (Calif.) remained at No. 3 with 611 points, as the Eagles went a perfect 2-0 last week that included wins over Hope International (Calif.) and then-No. 6 Biola. This week will be a tough test for Concordia against nationally-ranked Vanguard (Calif.) and Cal State San Marcos.
Park (Mo.) held its place at No. 4 with 589 points after the Pirates made the largest jump in last week’s poll. Sitting at a perfect 16-0 so far this season, Park is one of two teams in this week’s Top 25 with an unblemished record.
Despite dropping its only match of the week in a five-set thriller against Concordia, Biola moved up one spot to No. 5 with 553 points. The Eagles, who were the NAIA national runners-up last season, return to the Top 5 for the first time since the 2013 postseason poll.
Two newcomers join the Top 25 this week in No. 24 (tied) Ashford (Iowa), and No. 24 (tied) Jamestown (N.D.).
Making the largest jump this week is No. 12 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), as the Blue Raiders moved up 10 spots on the strength of a 10-match winning streak. No. 22 Wayland Baptist (Texas) had largest move downward this week, dropping nine spots in the poll.
Fourteen of the 23 conferences are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Great Plains Athletic Conference’s four teams – No. 6 Northwestern (Iowa), No. 10 Midland (Neb.), No. 13 Dordt (Iowa), and No. 18 Hastings (Neb.). The Golden State Athletic Conference and the American Midwest Conference land a trio of schools in the poll for the third 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. 30.
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Notes: (All information as of 2000) Rocky Mountain (Mont.) becomes the first Frontier Conference member to earn three-straight 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 102-straight polls … Biola (Calif.) is second with 101-consecutive mentions followed by Columbia (Mo.) (89) and Texas at Brownsville (64) … 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 – Rating No. 3 (Sep. 23)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 Record||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (22)||15-2||653|
|12||22||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||14-2||380|
|17||14||Grand View (Iowa)||9-7||285|
|22||13||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||8-7||220|
Others receiving votes: Davenport (Mich.) 110, Montana Tech 95, Cal State San Marcos 77, Trinity Christian (Ill.) 66, Cornerstone (Mich.) 51, Westmont (Calif.) 43, College of Idaho 39, St. Catherine (Ky.) 32, Bryan (Tenn.) 22, Grace (Ind.) 19, Concordia (Ore.) 17, St. Thomas (Fla.) 11, Baker (Kan.) 9, Kansas Wesleyan 6, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 5, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 4, Menlo (Calif.) 3, Mobile (Ala.) 3.