No. 2 Rush have NAIA’s longest active top-25 streak

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana is No. 2 in the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll announced Tuesday.

It’s the highest-ever preseason ranking by a XULA tennis team, male or female. The Gold Rush, 17-8 a year ago, were No. 2 in the 2016 postseason poll after becoming the first XULA team in any sport to reach the championship round of an NAIA national tournament. The Gold Rush lost the final 5-2 to Georgia Gwinnett at Mobile, Ala.

XULA has the longest active streak of NAIA men’s tennis top-25 appearances, 78. The streak began April 4, 2007. The Gold Rush ascended to the top of the active-streak list after Auburn Montgomery departed the NAIA this past summer.

Georgia Gwinnett, winner of the last three NAIA team titles, is a unanimous choice for No. 1. The Gold Rush and the Grizzlies will meet Feb. 19 at GGC’s Grizzly Invitational.

The XULA men will play their first dual matches of the spring semester Saturday at NCAA Division I Louisiana-Lafayette. The Gold Rush and Ragin’ Cajuns will play at 10 a.m. and a second time at 2 p.m. The home opener will start at noon Sunday at XULA Tennis Center against city rival Loyola, which received poll votes.

The next top 25 will be announced Feb. 14.

NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records from previous season)

Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Georgia Gwinnett (13) 26-0 343 1
2 Xavier 17-8 332 2
3 Lindsey Wilson 17-4 321 3
4 Keiser 20-4 305 7
5 Northwestern Ohio 16-4 304 tie-5
6 Coastal Georgia 13-4 287 8
7 William Carey 13-8 275 9
8 Westmont 10-9 261 13
9 Cardinal Stritch 17-8 242 12
10 San Diego Christian 9-3 234 NR
11 Aquinas 23-8 226 10
12 Cumberlands 13-8 216 14
13 Lewis-Clark State 12-10 206 11
14 Olivet Nazarene 15-9 195 16
15 Warner 16-5 189 15
16 Reinhardt 14-4 172 18
17 McPherson 13-6 165 17
18 William Woods 8-8 162 NR
19 Mobile 11-8 146 19
20 Campbellsville 14-11 135 23
21 Bethany (Kan.) 13-4 114 20
22 Middle Georgia 11-9 111 21
23 Marian (Ind.) 16-10 92 RV
24 Tennessee Wesleyan 18-5 85 24
25 Cumberland 8-9 76 RV

Dropped from rankings:  No. 4 Dalton State, No. 5 (tie) Auburn Montgomery, No. 22 Pikeville, No. 25 IU Southeast
Others receiving votes:  Missouri Valley 66, Asbury 64, Pikeville 28, Biola 27, IU Southeast 19, Davenport 17, Indiana Wesleyan 17, SCAD Savannah 13, SCAD Atlanta 12, Missouri Baptist 11, Hastings 5, Loyola (N.O.) 3
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Ed Cassiere

Ed Cassiere

Sports Information Director, Xavier University of Louisiana

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