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Nuggets Move to No. 2, Their Highest Rank of the Season

Terry Jones | 3/21/2014, 10:10 a.m. | Updated on 3/21/2014, 10:10 a.m.
Not only did the Xavier University of Louisiana women's tennis team defeat Auburn Montgomery, but the Gold Nuggets also helped ...

Not only did the Xavier University of Louisiana women's tennis team defeat Auburn Montgomery, but the Gold Nuggets also helped knock the Warhawks out of the top spot in the NAIA Coaches' Top 25 Poll on Tuesday.

Xavier (8-4) climbed from fifth after four consecutive victories since the previous poll, including a 5-4 decision at AUM on March 9. It was the Gold Nuggets' first-ever victory against a top-ranked team. Xavier has a season-best five-dual winning streak, and the poll position is its highest since being No. 1 in three consecutive polls in 2013. Before Tuesday, Xavier's highest rank this year was third in the preseason.

The Gold Nuggets are in the top 10 for the 11th consecutive time.

Second-year program Georgia Gwinnett, the only NAIA team to beat Xavier this season -- 5-2 at Hattiesburg, Miss., on Feb. 16 -- is the new No. 1. The Grizzlies (12-2 overall, 7-0 against NAIA teams) received 11-of-12 first place votes, with AUM (10-6, 9-1) getting the other.

AUM is ranked third, four points behind Xavier.

Beginning Thursday, the Gold Nuggets will be on the road for four duals in four days. They'll visit No. 4 Lindsey Wilson on Friday, play No. 18 Milligan in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday and visit No. 15 Cumberland on Sunday. XU's Thursday dual will be against Graceland, which missed the top 25 by six points.

The top 25:

  1. Georgia Gwinnett

  2. Xavier

  3. Auburn Montgomery

  4. Lindsey Wilson

  5. SCAD Savannah

  6. Embry-Riddle (Fla.)

  7. Brenau

  8. Northwood (Fla.)

  9. Vanguard

  10. Lewis-Clark State

  11. Oklahoma Baptist

  12. Westmont

  13. Concordia (Calif.)

  14. SCAD Atlanta

  15. Cumberland

  16. Coastal Georgia

  17. Indiana Wesleyan

  18. Milligan

  19. William Carey

  20. Cardinal Stritch

  21. Marian (Ind.)

  22. Campbellsville

  23. Northwestern Ohio

  24. Olivet Nazarene

  25. Davenport