By Nikki Sherrill, Athletics Communications and Media Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the 24th-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. Capturing all first-place votes and 374 total points, the Grizzlies remain their hold of the top spot. The sixth regular season poll will be released Tuesday, April 25.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dating back to 2000):
• Now at 24-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 are one of only four other programs to hold their stake at No. 1 the entire season.
• Continuing to capture all first-place votes possible, Georgia Gwinnett earned 374 total points to maintain its claim at No. 1. Currently at 19-0, the Grizzlies have yet to take the court in April, but will face-off against NCAA Division III No. 1 Emory (Ga.) on April 19, followed quickly by a matchup against ranked NAIA opponent in Tennessee Wesleyan.
• For the seventh-straight poll, the No. 2 ranking remains with Xavier (La.), which was the 2016 national runner-up behind the Grizzlies. Xavier now owns a 9-3 record and is 4-1 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.
• The top 17 spots remain the same as the last edition, with No. 3 Keiser (Fla.), No. 4 Northwestern Ohio and No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) rounding out the top five in the rankings.
• Only No. 19 Cornerstone (Mich.) made a positive advancement in the installment as it slid two spots forward.
• Six programs fell back in the poll while remaining ranked with No. 23 Tennessee Wesleyan making a five place fall. Five other teams saw their place slip one spot this week.
• SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) is the lone team to join the poll as it comes in at No. 18. This is the first mention in the Top 25 for the Bees since March 17, 2015.
• Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), who owns an NAIA-best 127 Top 25 mentions, falls out of the rankings for the since preseason in 2013. The Warriors are the only program to see its rating falter.
• 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, Mid-South Conference, Southern States Athletic Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference, and Appalachian Athletic Conference.
• 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. 5 (April 11)
|Rank||Last Week^||School (1st place votes)||Won||Lost||Final Points|
|1||1||Georgia Gwinnett (14)||19||0||374|
|5||5||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||15||5||326|
|6||6||William Carey (Miss.)||11||4||314|
|8||8||William Woods (Mo.)||7||5||287|
|10||10||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||10||3||265|
|13||13||San Diego Christian (Calif.)||5||8||221|
|16||16||Middle Georgia State||9||7||196|
|18||NR||SCAD Atlanta (Ga.)||9||3||146|
|20||19||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||6||6||131|
|21||20||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||7||7||130|
|25||24||St. Thomas (Fla.)||5||9||77|
Dropped from the Top 25: Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 25
Receiving Votes: Biola (Calif.) 53; Asbury (Ky.) 41; Bethany (Kan.) 31; Cumberlands (Ky.) 30; Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 25; Lawrence Tech (Mich.) 25; Warner (Fla.) 25; Missouri Valley 4; Point (Ga.) 3; Judson (Ill.) 3; Marian (Ind.) 3
^ Ranking based off the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 4