By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the seventh time in as many weeks, Rocky Mountain (Mont.) garners the No. 1 ranking in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Battlin’ Bears, who were the unanimous selection for the fourth-straight week, received all 21 first-place votes and 591 points in the seventh regular-season edition.
Rocky Mountain has won 19-straight, including a pair of sweeps of Westminster (Utah) and Montana Western in Frontier Conference action last week. In addition to the winning streak, the Battlin’ Bears have not dropped a set since Sept. 6 against then-No. 8 Biola (Calif.) – a run of 30-straight sets. This is the first time since 2000 that a Frontier Conference school has rested atop the poll for seven-straight weeks. Rocky Mountain returns to the court Friday against Montana State-Northern.
Park (Mo.) checks in at No. 2 – the highest ranking in program history – this week with 572 points. The Pirates are the only remaining unbeaten team in NAIA volleyball, entering the week with a 25-0 record. Park, which has dropped only one set this season, faces arguably its toughest test in American Midwest Conference (AMC) play on Friday when it travels to No. 7 Missouri Baptist.
Concordia (Calif.) and Texas at Brownsville are tied at No. 3 this week with 536 points each. The Eagles had their 12-match winning streak snapped in a 3-1 Oct. 14 loss against No. 5 Biola (Calif.). Concordia has been ranked among the top three in 44-straight polls, dating back to Sept. 20, 2011.
Since falling to then-No. 22 Grand View (Iowa) on Oct. 10, Texas at Brownsville has won seven-straight – all sweeps. The Ocelots and Concordia will look to break the tie on Friday when they square off in Irvine, Calif.
Rounding out the top five is No. 5 Biola with 529 points. This is the fifth-straight week the Eagles have held the No. 5 position in the poll. Biola enters the week with a 0.5-game lead over Concordia in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings. The Eagles open a run of three-straight Top 25 opponents Wednesday against No. 25 Cal State San Marcos.
Missouri Baptist, which is making its first top 10 appearance since ranking No. 10 in the 2006 final regular-season poll on Nov. 15, 2006, enjoyed the largest positive movement in the poll this week with a five-spot jump to No. 7. The Spartans are 27-1 on the season with their only loss coming to NCAA Division II Quincy (Ill.) on Sept. 17.
No. 25 Cal State San Marcos is the lone newcomer this week. The Cougars were last ranked on Sept. 16.
Fourteen of the 23 conferences are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Great Plains Athletic Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference and the AMC with three schools each. Five other leagues have two schools represented.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents. The eighth regular-season Top 25 will be announced Oct. 28.
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Notes: (All information as of 2000) Rocky Mountain (Mont.) becomes the first Frontier Conference member to earn seven-straight No. 1 rankings that includes the conference’s fourth 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 the ninth team to hold the 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 … No. 3 Concordia (Calif.), which ranks fifth all-time with 14 No. 1 mentions, holds the longest active streak in the Top 25 at 106-straight polls … No. 5 Biola (Calif.) is second with 105-consecutive mentions followed by No. 13 Columbia (Mo.) (93) and No. 3 Texas at Brownsville (68) … Thirty-two teams have made a Top 25 appearance this season … Biola, Concordia, Northwestern (Iowa) and Texas at Brownsville have ranked among the top 10 in every edition … 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. 7 (Oct. 21)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 Record||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (21)||20-2||591|
|T3||4||Texas at Brownsville||25-2||536|
|10||8||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||25-2||424|
|T15||18||Grand View (Iowa)||21-12||302|
|22||22||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||15-9||177|
|25||RV||Cal State San Marcos||18-9||131|
Others receiving votes: MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 121; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 81; Indiana Wesleyan 72; Bryan (Tenn.) 58; Ashford (Iowa) 42; College of Idaho 35; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 27; St. Catharine (Ky.) 22; St. Thomas (Fla.) 16; Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 14; Point Park (Pa.) 12; Hastings (Neb.) 9; The Master’s (Calif.) 7; Concordia (Ore.) 3.