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2017 NAIA Men's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 Poll - No. 1 (Feb. 14)

February 14, 2017
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By Nikki Sherrill, Athletics Communications and Media Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Gathering all first-place votes once again, Georgia Gwinnett maintains hold of the No. 1 spot in the latest NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Grizzlies earned 343 total points to remain as the top team while boasting a 6-0 record. The second regular season poll will be released Tuesday, Feb. 28. 

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dating back to 2000):
• As of today, the Grizzlies of Georgia Gwinnett have held the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for 1,000-consecutive days, good for 20-straight polls. The Grizzlies were the preseason favorite after winning their third-straight national title last May.
• Currently boasting a 6-0 record this season, Georgia Gwinnett has defeated only NCAA programs, including two victories over NCAA Division I programs in a 7-2 win over Kennesaw State (Ga.) and a 9-0 sweep of The Citadel (S.C.). The Grizzlies open up NAIA play this weekend as they host the Grizzly Invitational.
• After winning its way to the championship match last season, Xavier (La.) remains at the No. 2 spot in this edition. With 331 total points, the Gold Rush maintain their stay at the heels of the Grizzlies for another poll. Last season’s championship appearance was the first-ever Xavier program to make it to a title match in any sport. Xavier is currently sitting at 1-1 on the new season.
• The rest of the top five saw little adjustment, with only No. 3 Keiser (Fla.) and No. 4 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) flipping places from the last poll. No. 5 Northwestern Ohio, 5-1 so far this year, remained in place to round out the top five.
• In this installment, five squads advance positively in the ratings with No. 11 Campbellsville (Ky.) leading the charge by jumping forward nine spots from its previous spot. No. 3 Keiser, No. 16 William Woods (Mo.), No. 20 Cumberland (Tenn.) and No. 21 Tennessee Wesleyan also saw their positions slide forward.
• No. 25 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) suffered the farthest fall while maintaining a place in the ratings, as it dropped 12 places. Six other teams also moved backwards while still remaining in the Top 25 this week.
• Eight programs remained motionless from their previous ratings.
• Marian (Ind.) and Cumberlands (Ky.) both saw their ratings fall as they fell out of the poll. Both programs saw time in the Top 25 last season.
• Two newcomers make an appearance in the poll with No. 8 Arizona Christian and No. 24 Biola (Calif.) earning Top 25 mention. Arizona Christian makes its first-ever appearance in the rankings, while Biola is back into the Top 25 after a hiatus since preseason of 2013.
• Ten conferences/Association of Independent Institutions/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by five programs from the Golden State Athletic Conference and four from the Southern States Athletic Conference. The top two spots go to programs in the Association of Independent Institutions and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Unaffiliated Group.
• No. 25 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked 124 times throughout 18 seasons, former-member Auburn Montgomery is second with 121 rankings and Webber International (Fla.) in third with 103.
• Georgia Gwinnett (2015, 16), Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (2009, 08, 07) Fresno Pacific (Calif.) (2011, 10), Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (2006, 04) and Oklahoma City (2001, 00) are the only teams to go the entire season ranked No. 1.
• Auburn Montgomery has the most No. 1 rankings (29), while Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Fresno Pacific (Calif.) are second with 23 each.

Poll Methodology:
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
• The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
• The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
• Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”
• For the complete Top 25 calendar, click here.

2017 NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Poll - No. 1 (Feb. 14)
RANK LAST WEEK^ SCHOOL Record FINAL POINTS
1 1 Georgia Gwinnett (13) 6-0 343
2 2 Xavier (La.) 1-1 331
3 4 Keiser (Fla.) 5-1 318
4 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 1-1 315
5 5 Northwestern Ohio 3-0 299
6 6 Coastal Georgia 0-0 288
7 7 William Carey (Miss.) 0-0 277
8 NR Arizona Christian 7-4 256
9 9 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 1-0 253
10 8 Westmont (Calif.) 1-2 237
11 20 Campbellsville (Ky.) 2-0 224
12 11 Aquinas (Mich.) 2-1 206
13 10 San Diego Christian (Calif.) 1-1 204
14 14 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 0-0 202
15 15 Warner (Fla.) 2-1 193
T16 16 Reinhardt (Ga.) 0-0 171
T16 18 William Woods (Mo.) 2-0 171
18 17 McPherson (Kan.) 0-1 154
19 19 Mobile (Ala.) 4-0 135
20 25 Cumberland (Tenn.) 0-0 121
21 24 Tennessee Wesleyan 2-0 108
22 22 Middle Georgia State 0-0 104
23 21 Bethany (Kan.) 2-0 99
24 NR Biola (Calif.) 1-1 90
25 13 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 1-3 79

Dropped from the Top 25: Marian (Ind.) 23; Cumberlands (Ky.) 12

Receiving Votes: Marian (Ind.) 77; Cumberlands (Ky.) 64; Missouri Valley 44; Asbury (Ky.) 32; Cornerstone (Mich.) 13; SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) 13; Huntington (Ind.) 8; Union (Ky.) 5; Missouri Baptist 4; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 3; Judson (Ill.) 3

^ Ranking based off 2017 Preseason Poll