LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following a record setting season and the university’s first national championship, the University of North Georgia was unanimously voted the No. 1 team in the 2016 NFCA Division II Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Nighthawks (54-8) received all 16 first-place votes and 400 points after winning five straight elimination games to claim the national title with a 5-0 victory over Dixie State. The national runner-up Red Storm (52-8) was tabbed second with 374 points.
Reaching the national semifinals in its first season of NCAA eligibility, Shorter University (43-17) comes in at the third spot, while the other semifinalist California (Pa.) (43-13) starts the season fourth with 345 points. NCAA participant Indianapolis (48-15) received 344 points to round out the top five.
In at No. 6 is Valdosta State (280), followed by NCAA participant Adelphi (31-22) and Great Lakes Valley Conference preseason favorites Missouri-St. Louis tied at seventh with 271 points apiece. With 266 points, super regional participant Georgia College (47-11) is ranked ninth. Tied for the final spot in 10th is another super regional participant, Tarleton State (33-22) and Northern Sun preseason favorites Winona State (46-14)
Three conferences, California Collegiate Athletic Association, Great Lakes Valley and the Gulf South led the way with three programs recognized. The Lone Star, Northeast-10, Northern Sun and Peach Belt boast two teams apiece. The Central Athletic Collegiate Conference, Heartland Conference, Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Mountain East, PacWest, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and Sunshine State Conference each had one representative.
NFCA Division II Softball Coaches Poll
Preseason | January 27, 2016
|Rank||Team||Points||2015 Record||Final 2015 Ranking|
|1||North Georgia (16)||400||54-8||1|
|12||St. Mary's University||213||48-12||6|
|15||West Virginia Wesleyan||134||38-10||16|
|22||West Texas A&M||79||45-11||13|
|23||Southern New Hampshire||66||35-9||15|
|25||Cal State Monterey Bay||50||47-12||14|
Others Receiving Votes: Central Missouri (47), Anderson (S.C.) (34), North Alabama (27), LIU Post (12), Ashland (10), California Baptist (6), Armstrong State (5), Trevecca Nazarene (2), East Central (1), Metro State (1).
The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches with two representing each of the eight NCAA regions. Final 2015 records and rankings are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.