By Mark Colachico, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As a unanimous selection for the first time in program history, Rocky Mountain (Mont.) held onto the nation’s No. 1 ranking for the fourth-straight week in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll according to an announcement Tuesday by the national office. The Battlin’ Bears earned all 22 first-place votes and 622 points.
Behind the strength of 16-straight victories, Rocky Mountain held onto its top spot in the poll after improving to 17-2 on the season following wins over Montana Tech and Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 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 602 points, as The Ocelots have won 12-straight matches after wins last week over Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) and Texas College. Texas at Brownsville has captured 15-of-17 sets since September 13 that includes four three-set sweeps.
Concordia (Calif.) remained at No. 3 with 582 points, as the Eagles went unbeaten last week with a pair of wins over nationally-ranked Cal State San Marcos and Vanguard (Calif.). Concordia has won eight straight matches capturing 24-of-28 sets during the stretch.
Park (Mo.) held its place at No. 4 with 561 points after the Pirates improved to a perfect 20-0 this season. Park is only the second team in the Top 25 to reach the 20-win plateau this year, as the Pirates have won 18-straight sets over their last six matches.
After moving into the top five for the first time this season, Biola (Calif.) held steady this week at No. 5 with 535 points. The Eagles, who were the NAIA runners-up last season, swept both San Diego Christian (Calif.) and Arizona Christian last week after falling in a five-set thriller to No. 3 Concordia two weeks ago.
Only one newcomer joined the Top 25 this week in No. 25 Davenport (Mich.), as three teams – No. 17 Evangel (Mo.), No. 18 Vanguard, and No. 20 Coastal Georgia – tied for the largest move this week jumping three spots each. Grand View (Iowa) had the largest drop in this week’s poll continuing its downward spiral in the rankings falling four more spots to No. 21, as the Vikings fell for the fourth-straight week after starting the season at No. 6 in the preseason poll.
Fourteen of the 23 conferences are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Great Plains Athletic Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference, and the American Midwest Conference with three schools each in the poll. Four other conferences – Midwest Collegiate Conference, Cascade Collegiate Conference, Mid-South Conference, and Southern Athletic Conference – have two schools each represented in this week’s poll.
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 four straight No. 1 rankings that includes the conference’s first unanimous selection … 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 103-straight polls … Biola (Calif.) is second with 102-consecutive mentions followed by Columbia (Mo.) (90) and Texas at Brownsville (65) … 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. 4 (Sep. 30)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 Record||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (22)||17-2||622|
|11||12||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||17-2||401|
|21||17||Grand View (Iowa)||11-10||213|
|24||22||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||9-8||140|
Others receiving votes: Concordia (Neb.) 87; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 83; Cal State San Marcos 72; Bryan (Tenn.) 55; Westmont (Calif.) 52; St. Catharine (Ky.) 44; Concordia (Ore.) 43; Hastings (Neb.) 43; St Thomas (Fla.) 22; Carroll (Mont.) 17; Indiana Wesleyan (12); Baker (Kan.) 11; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 9; College of Idaho 8; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 3.