KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the third-straight edition, Georgia Gwinnett sits atop the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Grizzlies were the consensus No. 1 after receiving 13 first-place votes and 343 total points.
Georgia Gwinnett is 13-2 on the year—in just its second season of intercollegiate competition—including a perfect 7-0 record against NAIA competition. The Grizzlies’ two losses have come against NCAA Division III then-No. 2 Emory (Ga.) (7-2) and NCAA Division II then-No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic (Ga.) (9-0). Georgia Gwinnett will have a chance to avenge one of its two losses when it closes its regular season against Emory on April 21, before participating in its unaffiliated grouping tournament beginning April 25.
After sharing the No. 2 spot last edition, Xavier (La.) accumulated 327 points to earn the No. 2 ranking outright. The Gold Nuggets are 12-6 on the season, with losses to NCAA Division I Tulane (La.) (4-0), NCAA Division I Louisiana-Lafayette (4-1), then-No. 20 Georgia Gwinnett (5-2), NCAA Division I McNeese State (La.) (6-1), then-No. 4 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (5-4) and NCAA Division I Southern Miss (6-3). Xavier will conclude its regular season on April 15 against NCAA Division I Southwestern (La.) and will begin postseason play with its unaffiliated grouping tournament on April 25.
Lindsey Wilson accrued 324 points to land the No. 3 position for the third time this season. The Blue Raiders, who are 10-4 on the year, are unbeaten against NAIA opponents, but have suffered four losses to NCAA Division I programs: Murray State (Ky.) (6-1), Eastern Kentucky (5-2), Austin Peay (Tenn.) (4-3) and Southern Illinois (5-2). Lindsey Wilson will wrap up its regular season with matches against Bluefield (Va.) on April 17 and St. Catharine (Ky.) on April 19, with the Mid-South Conference Tournament beginning on April 24.
No. 4 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 5 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) round out the top five with 309 and 302 points, respectively. The Warhawks extend their streak of top five rankings to 86-straight polls, dating back to April 2, 2003.
The three-time defending national champion Warhawks, who are 13-7 on the year, lost six matches in March—more than in two of their three-straight national championship seasons (2011, 2012). Auburn Montgomery has two regular-season matches remaining April 16 at NCAA Division II Lee (Tenn.) and April 22 at Loyola (La.) prior to the start of the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament on April 25.
Embry-Riddle concluded its regular season on a six-match win streak to finish 13-5. The Eagles begin postseason play with The Sun Conference Tournament on Thursday, April 17.
Warner (Fla.) was the lone newcomer to the Top 25 this edition and is making its first-ever Top 25 appearance.
SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) (No. 24), which had been ranked in 10-straight polls fell out of the Top 25 after losing five-straight matches.
Within the poll, No. 20 Northwestern Ohio moved up a poll-high five positions, while five schools fell two spots each.
Ten of the 13 conferences and unaffiliated groupings are represented in the fifth regular-season poll, led by five teams from The Sun Conference.
The sixth regular-season Top 25 poll will be released on April 29.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and unaffiliated groupings. For the entire 2014 Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
Notes: (All information as of the 2000 season) Georgia Gwinnett earned third-straight No. 1 ranking in this week’s poll… Georgia Gwinnett earned its first-ever No. 1 ranking in the third regular-season poll on March 18… Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) leads all NAIA programs with 72 all-time No. 1 rankings… The Warhawks are followed by Brenau (Ga.) with 12, former-member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) with eight, and former-member Shorter (Ga.), Xavier (La.) and Georgia Gwinnett with three… Auburn Montgomery topped each poll from Feb. 11, 2004, to May 1, 2010, a span of 47-straight No. 1 rankings, an NAIA record… The next closest streak is just eight by Fresno Pacific, which garnered the top selection in all eight polls in 2011… Auburn Montgomery has been ranked in the top five since April 2, 2003… Four teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2013: Auburn Montgomery, Brenau, William Carey (Miss.) and Xavier… Two teams have held the No. 1 ranking in 2014: Auburn Montgomery and Georgia Gwinnett.
2014 NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 5 (April 15)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Georgia Gwinnett (13)||343|
|3||2||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||324|
|4||4||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||309|
|7||5||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||273|
|16||14||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||172|
|19||20||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||138|
|23||23||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||110|
|24||22||St. Thomas (Fla.)||106|
Others Receiving Votes: Georgetown (Ky.) 56; William Carey (Miss.) 47; Reinhardt (Ga.) 34; McPherson (Kan.) 33; Evangel (Mo.) 21; Cumberlands (Ky.) 19; Mobile (Ala.) 11; Southeastern (Fla.) 11; Cumberland (Tenn.) 3.