KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Eight of the top 10 teams remained in same position as the previous poll, as Rocky Mountain (Mont.) received its 11th-straight No. 1 ranking in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Sunday. The Battlin’ Bears received 15 first-place votes and 556 points.
The 36-team field for the 2014 NAIA Volleyball National Championship, presented by J&L Enterprises, will be announced on Sunday shortly after 5 p.m. CST. The 24-team National Championship Opening Round pairings will be announced Monday, Nov. 17 at 12 p.m. CST via a broadcast event on NAIANetwork.com. The top 11 seeds and championship host Briar Cliff (Iowa) receive a bye directly to the final site in Sioux City, Iowa. For conference tournament results, click here.
Rocky Mountain won the Frontier Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed with a 3-1 win over Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) after clinching its first regular-season title since 2000. The Battlin’ Bears bring a 28-match winning streak into the next round of postseason play and have dropped just five sets over the previous 19 matches.
No. 2 Park (Mo.) – the NAIA’s only unbeaten team at 34-0 – garnered five first place votes to hold in the No. 2 position with 546 points. The Pirates followed up on an undefeated regular-season and the American Midwest Conference (AMC) regular-season championship by winning the AMC Tournament championship. Park has lost just two sets throughout the entire season and swept the last eight contests heading into the National Championship.
Rounding out the top five again this week are No. 3 Concordia (Calif.) (524 points), No. 4 Biola (Calif.) (506 points) and No. 5 Texas at Brownsville (487 points).
Concordia and Biola play in the Golden State Athletic Conference, which does not conduct a conference tournament. Both teams finished up the regular season with wins in the final two matches and concluded league play with identical 15-1 records.
Texas at Brownsville captured the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament title with a three-set sweep of Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) to earn an automatic berth into the National Championship. The defending national champions are led into the National Championship by 2013 NAIA First Team All-American Vanja Joksic, who is hitting .453 and has recorded 98 blocks on the season.
Grand View (Iowa) enjoyed the biggest jump in the polls, moving up three spots to No. 11 despite falling in the championship match of the Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament to No. 9 Viterbo (Wis.). Midland (Neb.) and Davenport (Mich.) moved up two spots apiece to No. 9 and No. 13, respectively, while Southern Oregon suffered the longest slide in the poll, falling four places to No. 17.
No. 24 College of Idaho and No. 25 Evangel (Mo.) are the two newcomers in the final poll. The Coyotes, who are ranked for the first time since the Preseason Poll on Aug. 19, 2014, won the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament crown and bring a six-match winning streak into the National Championship. The Crusaders return to the National Championship for the first time since 2009 after winning the Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament title and return to the Top 25 after a four-poll hiatus.
Concordia (Ore.) and MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) fell out of the Top 25 after holding the No. 24 and No. 25 spots in the last rankings, respectively.
The AMC, GSAC and CCC are tied for the most programs represented in the poll with three teams each.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Association of Independent Institutions.
For the complete volleyball ratings calendar, click here.
Notes: (All information as of 2000) Rocky Mountain (Mont.) became the first Frontier Conference member to earn 11-straight No. 1 rankings that includes seventh unanimous selections … 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 111-straight polls … No. 4 Biola (Calif.) is second with 110-consecutive mentions followed by No. 8 Columbia (Mo.) (98) and No. 5 Texas at Brownsville (73) … Thirty-three 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 – Final (Nov. 16)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 Record||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (15)||29-2||556|
|2||2||Park (Mo.) (5)||34-0||546|
|5||5||Texas at Brownsville||29-4||487|
|11||14||Grand View (Iowa)||26-13||370|
|12||9||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||32-3||352|
|20||20||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||23-9||226|
|22||22||Cal State San Marcos||27-10||178|
|24||RV||College of Idaho||19-11||146|
Others receiving votes: Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 114; Concordia (Ore.) 96; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 75; Dordt (Iowa) 70; Oklahoma Baptist 30; Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 9; Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 6; Kansas Wesleyan 4; Union (Ky.) 3; St. Catharine (Ky.) 3.