By Nikki Sherrill, Athletics Communications and Media Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the 23rd-straight poll, Georgia Gwinnett maintains hold of the No. 1 spot in the latest NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Grizzlies once again gathered all first-place votes along with 312 total points to remain seated as the top program in the NAIA. The fifth regular season poll will be released Tuesday, April 10.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dating back to 2000):
• Now at 23-straight polls as the No. 1 team in NAIA Men’s Tennis, the Grizzlies of Georgia Gwinnett have held the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the entire season. Last season, the Grizzlies won their third-straight national title and they are one of only four other programs to hold their stake at No. 1 the entire season.
• The Grizzlies have matched up against three then-ranked NAIA opponents since the last rankings came out, earning victories in each of those contests. Georgia Gwinnett now holds a 19-0 unblemished record after capturing wins over then—No. 16 William Woods (Mo.), then-No. 9 Campbellsville (Ky.) and then-No. 5 Northwestern Ohio. Over the month, the Grizzlies have also picked up wins over two NCAA Division I programs in North Carolina A&T and Tennessee Tech.
• For the sixth-straight poll, the No. 2 ranking remains with Xavier (La.), which was the 2016 national runner-up behind the Grizzlies. Xavier now owns an 8-3 record and is 3-2 in its last five matches. The Gold Rush met up with Georgia Gwinnett for the first time since the national championship match earlier this month with the Grizzlies earning a 5-0 win.
• Keiser (Fla.) remains at No. 3 this week, while No.4 Northwestern Ohio and No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) swap places to round-out the top five.
• In this installment, four squads advanced positively, led by No. 18 Tennessee Wesleyan which moved forward a poll-best three places. No. 2 Northwestern Ohio, No. 8 William Woods and No. 15 Reinhardt (Ga.) also improved their previous ranking.
• No. 24 St. Thomas (Fla.) dropped a poll-high five places, followed by No. 19 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) which fell four places. Six other programs saw their ranking last edition slide backwards as well.
• Ten programs remain motionless from their previous ratings.
• Two newcomers are welcomed into the rankings this week as No. 20 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) and No. 21 Cornerstone (Mich.) join the Top 25. This is Cornerstone’s first-ever appearance on the poll.
• In this edition, two programs saw their previous ranking drop out of the poll with Warner (Fla.) and Bethany (Kan.) faltering.
• Ten conferences/Association of Independent Institutions/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, with three programs out of The Sun Conference, Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, Southern States Athletic Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Appalachian Athletic Conference.
• No. 25 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked an NAIA-best 127 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 and Fresno Pacific are second with 23 each.
• 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. 4 (March 28)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1st place votes)||WON||LOST||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Georgia Gwinnett (12)||18||0||312|
|5||4||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||9||5||272|
|6||6||William Carey (Miss.)||9||3||262|
|8||10||William Woods (Mo.)||6||4||235|
|10||9||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||5||3||226|
|13||13||San Diego Christian (Calif.)||4||6||190|
|16||18||Middle Georgia State||9||6||156|
|19||15||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||4||5||122|
|20||NR||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||6||6||110|
|24||19||St. Thomas (Fla.)||5||8||81|
|25||24||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||1||7||75|
Dropped from the Top 25: Warner (Fla.) (23); Bethany (Kan.) 25)
Receiving Votes: Warner (Fla.) 54; Asbury (Ky.) 45; Bethany (Kan.) 41; Loyola (La.) 20; Lawrence Tech (Mich.) 17; Biola (Calif.) 14; Cumberlands (Ky.) 10; Marian (Ind.) 10; SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) 8
^ Ranking based off the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3