Gold Rush eighth in final NAIA coaches poll of the season
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana climbed one notch Monday to reach a program-record-tying No. 8 in the final NAIA Men's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 of the season.
The Gold Rush (13-9), idle since winning a qualifying tournament for the NAIA National Championship at Chattanooga, Tenn., on April 30, swapped places with Vanguard from last week's poll. Xavier won 6-3 at Vanguard on March 4.
Xavier first reached No. 8 in the March 8 poll and remained there for two additional rankings. XU's men were in the top 10 in five of the final six polls.
This is the first Xavier team to reach the top 10 in a final NAIA poll since women's basketball was No. 4 in 1997-98.
The Gold Rush are in the the top 25 for the 32nd consecutive time dating to April 4, 2007 — that's the fifth longest active streak among NAIA men's teams — and it's the 23rd straight time dating to April 30, 2008, that the Gold Rush are among the top 18. It's the sixth consecutive season that the XU men are among the top 25 in the final poll.
Xavier has qualified for the national tournament for the third consecutive season. The NAIA will announce seedings and pairings for the 24-team event by 5 p.m. Tuesday. The tournament will begin May 17 at Mobile, Ala.
Fresno Pacific received all the first-place votes and is No. 1 in the final poll for the second straight season.
Xavier's women, whose season ended April 30 with a 5-0 loss to Milligan in the semifinals of the qualifying tournament, are out of the top 25 for the fifth consecutive time after 44 straight appearances. The Gold Nuggets collected three points, two more than last week, to tie for 33rd place.
In last season's final polls, Xavier's men were 16th, and the women were 19th. This is the first time since 2003 that the Gold Nuggets are not among the final top 25.