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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
2 Dixie State 374 52-8 2
3 Shorter 359 43-17 3
4 California (Pa.) 345 43-13 4
5 Indianapolis 344 48-15 5
6 Valdosta State 280 48-9 12
7 Adelphi 271 31-22 7
7 UMSL 271 48-8 9
9 Georgia College 266 47-11 10
10 Tarleton State 251 33-22 22
10 Winona State 251 46-14 23
12 St. Mary's University 213 48-12 6
13 Humboldt State 208 42-19 RV
14 Florida Tech 155 38-20 19
15 West Virginia Wesleyan 134 38-10 16
16 Missouri Western 133 32-14 NR
17 Caldwell 129 37-14-1 21
18 UAH 127 40-16 18
19 Sonoma State 119 42-21 20
20 Augustana University 85 53-11 11
21 Regis University 80 32-19 NR
22 West Texas A&M 79 45-11 13
23 Southern New Hampshire 66 35-9 15
24 Southern Indiana 65 39-11 25
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.

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