Concordia (Calif.) celebrated its first-ever National Championship in Sioux City, Iowa, on Dec. 1 and was rewarded with the No. 1 ranking in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Postseason Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Eagles grabbed all 22 first-place votes for 622 points on the way to their seventh top-ranking in school history.
Concordia sits atop the poll for the fourth-straight week after defeating No. 2 Columbia (Mo.), 3-1, (25-19, 20-25, 25-21, 25-19) in the national championship finals. On the season, the Eagles were a perfect 38-0, which is the first undefeated season since former NAIA Member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) was 38-0 in 2009.
National runner-up, Columbia comes in at No. 2 notching 602 points. Texas at Brownsville falls one spot to No. 3 with 579 points. Biola (Calif.) held steady at No. 4 receiving 565 points, while No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist rounds out the top five tallying 516 points.
Viterbo (Wis.) made the biggest jump this week moving 13 spots from No. 21 to No. 8. The V-Hawks, in its first National Championship appearance, won Pool F and advanced to single elimination. In the first round, the V-Hawks defeated Georgetown (Ky.), 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-22), before falling to Columbia in the quarterfinals.
Head Coach Bobby Blanken
Climbing into the Top 25 are No. 20 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), No. 24 Carroll (Mont.) and No. 25 St. Francis (Ill.). Lindsey Wilson and Carroll rejoin the Top 25 this season after both were in the poll earlier this season, while this is St. Francis first appearance in the Top 25 since Sept. 7, 2005.
Vanguard (Calif.) (No. 22), Park (Mo.) (No. 24) and Midland (Neb.) (No. 25) fell out of the Top 25.
Eighteen conferences are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) with four ranked teams. Representing the GSAC is Concordia, Biola, No. 11 The Master’s (Calif.), and No. 16 Westmont (Calif.). Four conferences are tied for the second-most Top 25 squads with two each.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents.