By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Rocky Mountain (Mont.) continues its reign atop the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Battlin’ Bears, who are making their eighth-straight appearance at No. 1 and fifth-straight unanimous selection, received all 22 first-place votes and 622 total points this week.
Rocky Mountain extended its winning streak to 21-matches with victories against Montana State-Northern (3-0) and Great Falls (Mont.) (3-1) last week. The Battlin’ Bears boast an 11-0 record in the Frontier Conference (Frontier), 2.5 games ahead of second-place Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) and four games in front of third-place Carroll (Mont.). Rocky Mountain returns to the floor Tuesday against NCAA Division II Montana State-Billings, before traveling to Lewis-Clark State for a key Frontier showdown on Thursday.
Park (Mo.) accrued 602 points en route to its second-straight No. 2 ranking. The Pirates remained the NAIA’s only unbeaten team with victories against No. 7 Missouri Baptist, 3-1, on Oct. 24 and Harris-Stowe State (Mo.), 3-0, on Oct. 25. Park (27-0) has only dropped two sets all season. The Pirates have three matches remaining in their regular-season schedule, including a non-conference, Top 25 clash against No. 22 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) on Thursday.
Concordia (Calif.) secured the No. 3 spot outright this week with 575 points. The Eagles earned another marquee victory this past weekend with a 3-2 win against then-No. 3 Texas at Brownsville. The win is Concordia’s sixth against a ranked team. The Eagles also knocked off Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) rival Hope International (3-0) to extend their current winning streak to four matches.
Rounding out the top five are No. 4 Biola (Calif.) and No. 5 Texas at Brownsville with 569 and 539 points, respectively. The Eagles one-spot jump was due in large part to a 3-2 win against the Ocelots on Oct. 23. Biola has won 10-straight and is currently tied atop the GSAC standings with Concordia at 10-1.
Despite the two losses, Texas at Brownsville makes its 55th-straight top-five appearance in the poll. The Ocelots, who last appeared outside of the top five on Sept. 21, 2010, look to rebound Friday against St. Thomas (Texas).
No. 8 Columbia (Mo.) enjoys the largest positive movement in the poll this week, vaulting up five spots. The Cougars claimed key wins against then-No. 17 Georgetown (Ky.) and then-No. 9 Viterbo (Wis.) last week. Conversely, Eastern Oregon dropped a poll-high five places from No. 8 to No. 13.
Two newcomers join the Top 25 this week in No. 20 Indiana Wesleyan and No. 22 MidAmerica Nazarene. Both squads were last ranked in the 2014 Preseason Poll on Aug. 19.
Fifteen of the 23 conferences are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the GSAC and American Midwest Conference, who boast three teams each.
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 Nov. 4.
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Notes: (All information as of 2000) Rocky Mountain (Mont.) becomes the first Frontier Conference member to earn eight-straight No. 1 rankings that includes the conference’s fifth 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 107-straight polls … No. 4 Biola (Calif.) is second with 106-consecutive mentions followed by No. 8 Columbia (Mo.) (94) and No. 5 Texas at Brownsville (69) … 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. 8 (Oct. 28)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 Record||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (22)||22-2||622|
|5||3||Texas at Brownsville||25-4||539|
|10||10||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||26-2||422|
|14||T15||Grand View (Iowa)||22-12||356|
|19||22||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||17-9||231|
|22||RV||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||17-11||173|
|24||25||Cal State San Marcos||20-10||157|
Others receiving votes: Evangel (Mo.) 116; Concordia (Ore.) 90; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 81; Dordt (Iowa) 39; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 38; Bryan (Tenn.) 33; St. Thomas (Fla.) 22; Concordia (Neb.) 17; Ashford (Iowa) 16; Northwestern Ohio 12; The Master’s (Calif.) 9; St. Catharine (Ky.) 9; Point Park (Pa.) 6; Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 4; Graceland (Iowa) 3; College of Idaho 3; Oklahoma City 3.