By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Georgia Gwinnett sits atop the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. After winning their first national championship, the Grizzlies accumulated all 13 first-place votes and 343 total points to earn their fourth No. 1 ranking this season.
Georgia Gwinnett, which won its first national title in its first year of NAIA postseason eligibility, ends its season 18-4. The Grizzlies, who had just one loss in NAIA play this season—to then-No. 2 Xavier (La.), 5-3, in their unaffiliated grouping tournament championship on April 26, capped their year with a 5-4 victory over Embry-Riddle (Fla.) in the national championship final on May 17.
Embry-Riddle, which finished as the national runner-up after losing a 5-4 battle to aforementioned Georgia Gwinnett with the national title on the line, accrued 332 total points en route to the No. 2 ranking. The Eagles conclude their season with an 18-6 record. Their lone NAIA loss came in the national championship match.
After falling to Embry-Riddle (5-2) in the national championship semifinals, top-seeded Xavier dropped to No. 3 in the poll, earning 318 total points. The Gold Nuggets end their season 17-7, with 4-of-7 losses coming against NCAA Division I competition.
National championship semifinalist Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and quarterfinalist Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) round out the top five with 313 and 299 points, respectively. The Blue Raiders were 17-5 on the year. Lindsey Wilson’s 5-2 loss to eventual national champion Georgia Gwinnett was its only loss to an NAIA opponent this season. The Warhawks, who finished their season with a record of 19-8, extend their streak of top five rankings to 89-straight polls, dating back to April 2, 2003.
There were no newcomers to the Top 25 for the fourth time this season.
No. 21 Marian (Ind.), No. 22 St. Thomas (Fla.), No. 23 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and No. 24 Campbellsville (Ky.) did not qualify for the national championship, but earned Top 25 mention in the postseason poll.
Within the poll, No. 2 Embry-Riddle and No. 15 Indiana Wesleyan moved up a poll-high three positions, while Coastal Georgia fell four spots, landing at No. 17.
Eleven of the 13 conferences and unaffiliated groupings are represented in the postseason poll, led by four teams from The Sun Conference.
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 its fourth all-time No. 1 ranking after winning its first-ever national championship… 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 Xavier (La.) with five… 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 among the top five since April 2, 2003… Three teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2014: Auburn Montgomery, Georgia Gwinnett and Xavier.
2014 NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Postseason (May 21)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Georgia Gwinnett (13)||343|
|4||3||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||313|
|5||4||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||299|
|7||7||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||277|
|18||17||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||158|
|19||19||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||154|
|22||21||St. Thomas (Fla.)||109|
|23||23||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||103|
Others Receiving Votes: Southeastern (Fla.) 65; Georgetown (Ky.) 52; William Carey (Miss.) 29; Reinhardt (Ga.) 27; Warner (Fla.) 24; Cumberlands (Ky.) 14; IU Southeast (Ind.) 5; Mobile (Ala.) 3.