By Travis Rae, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the second-consecutive week and fifth time this season, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) has claimed the No. 1 ranking in the 2013 NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles received 9-of-12 first-place votes for 310 points to secure the top ranking.
Embry-Riddle won its fifth-straight The Sun Conference Tournament championship with a 5-1 victory over No. 15 Northwood (Fla.) April 21. Embry-Riddle has currently won 18-consecutive matches, dating back to March 5.
Receiving one first-place vote and notching 299 points is Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), who holds steady at No. 2. The Warhawks claimed their ninth-straight Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Tournament crown April 22 with a 5-1 win over then-No. 14 Belhaven (Miss.).
No. 3 Vanguard (Calif.) received the last two first-place votes and tallied 297 points. The Lions finished the season 22-0 and won the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Tournament. In its last match, Vanguard defeated NCAA Division II Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.), 5-4.
GSAC runner-up, Westmont (Calif.) comes in at No. 4 this week with 278 points. The last time the Warriors took the court was during the 113th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament on April 26-28, where they claimed the team title.
Rounding out the top five is No. 5 Xavier (La.) with 272 points. Xavier was the Unaffiliated Group, featuring Applachian Athletic, Association of Indepentent Instituions and Gulf Coast Athletic Confereces, Tournament champion after defeating Milligan (Tenn.), 5-2, on April 21.
No. 11 Belhaven and No. 13 Oklahoma Baptist make the biggest leap in the poll this week, improving three spots. Belhaven was the SSAC Tournament runner-up, while Oklahoma Baptist won its Unaffiliated Group Tournament, which featured Frontier Conference, Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference, Red River Athletic Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference teams. No. 14 William Carey (Miss.) fell the farthest dropping seven spots.
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) rejoins the Top 25 after falling out in the previous poll. The Tigers come in at No. 23 this week after winning the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament on April 27. Olivet Nazarene defeated St. Francis (Ill.), 5-0, in the championship.
Falling out of the Top 25 is Indiana Wesleyan (No. 25).
Ten of the 13 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings are represented throughout the Top 25, led by The Sun Conference and Mid-South Conference with four teams apiece. A trio of conferences follow with three teams each.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings. The final regular-season poll will be announced on May 6.
Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Only two teams have held the No. 1 ranking this year, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)… Auburn Montgomery’s 28 top mentions are the most all-time, followed by former-NAIA members Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Fresno Pacific (Calif.), who each have 23 … Oklahoma City has appeared at No. 1 a total of 13 times…. Embry-Riddle has claimed the No. 1 ranking five times, while SCAD Savannah (Ga.) has topped the poll twice … Fresno Pacific became the sixth preseason top selection to go on to win the national title in 2011 … Auburn Montgomery was the last to accomplish the feat prior to Fresno Pacific, as the Warhawks did so in 2008.
2013 Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 – No. 6
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (9)||20-2||310|
|2||2||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (1)||18-3||299|
|3||3||Vanguard (Calif.) (2)||22-0||297|
|8||9||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||16-3||244|
|14||7||William Carey (Miss.)||8-5||183|
|16||12||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||7-7||162|
|23||RV||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||10-10||98|
|25||21||Webber International (Fla.)||10-12||70|
Others receiving votes: Indiana Wesleyan 69; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 56; Coastal Georgia 35; St. Francis (Ill.) 17; Grace (Ind.) 11; Asbury (Ky.) 9; St. Thomas (Fla.) 9; Mobile (Ala.) 8; Hope International (Calif.) 5; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 3; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 3.