KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Union found itself back in the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll as it came in No. 24, the national office announced Monday.
The Lady Bulldogs (15-5 overall, 6-3 Appalachian Athletic Conference) sat outside of last week's poll but returned to the top 25 after receiving 90 total points to come in 24th. Union is eight points behind No. 23 Friends (Kan.) and 18 ahead of 25th-ranked Ave Marie (Fla.).
AAC rival Tennessee Wesleyan (14-6 overall, 7-2 AAC) also returned to the poll, coming in at No. 20.
Three other AAC teams received votes. Virginia Intermont (13-8 overall, 6-3 AAC) got nine, Bluefield (Va.) (12-7 overall, 6-3 AAC) picked up five, and Montreat (N.C.) (12-6 overall, 5-4 AAC) had one.
Indiana Wesleyan remained unbeaten in Mid-Central College Conference play and kept its stranglehold on the No. 1 spot in the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Wildcats garnered all 13 first-place votes for the sixth-straight week as they tallied 343 points. Indiana Wesleyan continues to put the clamps on its opponents, limiting them to a NAIA-low 49.6 points per game. The team's only blemish remains the 65-62 loss to then-No. 22 NAIA Division I Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) on Dec. 17.
No. 2 Briar Cliff (Iowa), No. 3 Davenport (Mich.), No. 4 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) and No. 5 Concordia (Neb.) round out the top five once again. Briar Cliff, winner of six out of its last seven Great Plains Athletic Conference games, pulled in 329 points and is ranked No. 2 for the fifth time this season. Meanwhile, Davenport reeled in 323 points, followed by College of the Ozarks with 305 and Concordia with 304. Davenport pushed its win streak to 15 games by pasting Michigan-Dearborn, 101-63, on Jan. 21.
No. 16 Southwestern (Kan.) makes the biggest jump this week, climbing up seven spots. The Lady Builders top the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference with a league mark of 9-1. No. 17 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) vaulted four places, spurred by a 78-71 victory over then-No. 21 NAIA Division I Robert Morris (Ill.) on Jan. 17. On the other hand, No. 15 Mount Mercy (Iowa) experienced the biggest fall as it went back seven positions due to a pair of losses to unranked Midwest Collegiate Conference foes last week.
Twelve of the 14 Division II women's basketball conferences and independents are represented throughout the Top 25. The Great Plains Athletic Conference placed the most teams of any league in the poll with five: Briar Cliff, Concordia, No. 7 Morningside (Iowa), No. 9 Northwestern (Iowa) and No. 18 Hastings (Neb.). The Mid-Central College Conference was second with three ranked teams: Indiana Wesleyan, No. 10 Bethel (Ind.) and Huntington.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The next poll will be announced on Jan. 30.
Union returns to action Wednesday when it plays host to Bluefield at 5:30 p.m.
To view the entire poll, click here.