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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two-time defending national champion Virginia Wesleyan University heads into this week’s NCAA tournament as the No. 1 team in the NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll.

The (40-4) Marlins stay in the top spot for a fifth week, after winning their fourth-straight Old Dominion Athletic Conference title. They have been idle since beating Randolph-Macon on April 29 to claim their 12th conference championship overall.

Meanwhile, East Texas Baptist (39-4) returns to the No. 2 spot, after rallying to beat Mary Hardin-Baylor, 2-1, on Saturday for its ninth American Southwest Conference tournament title, and St. Thomas (38-5) also gained one spot after outlasting Hamline, 1-0 in 11 innings, in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship. Both leapfrogged Williams (33-5), which slipped to fourth, following the Ephs’ 3-2 loss to Tufts in the New England Small College Athletic Conference final, that snapped a 22-game win streak.

Poll regulars Ithaca (26-7-1) and Central (26-8) each moved up several spots after claiming their respective conference championships, and will both be making a Division III-record 30th NCAA tournament appearance later this week.

Emory (30-10) jumped back into the rankings at the No. 18 spot after winning their last four during a season in which they’ve beaten 17 ranked teams. And despite Saturday’s loss, Mary Hardin-Baylor (28-6) has won 11 of its last 13, and joins the poll at 22nd this week.

The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Current 2019 records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses.

NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – May 8, 2019

Rank

Team

2019 Record

Points

Previous

1

Virginia Wesleyan (8)

40-4

200

1

2

East Texas Baptist

39-4

192

3

3

St. Thomas (Minn.)

38-5

184

3

4

Williams

33-5

176

2

5

Linfield

35-6-1

168

5

6

Birmingham-Southern

34-5

160

8

7

Illinois Wesleyan

33-7

152

6

8

Texas Lutheran

30-7

144

11

9

The College of New Jersey

33-6

136

12

10

Ithaca

26-7-1

128

14

11

Christopher Newport

33-7

112

9

12

Thomas More

32-9

108

16

T13

Kean

37-6

92

13

T13

Manhattanville

40-2

92

15

15

Central (Iowa)

26-8

82

22

16

DePauw

31-12

80

18

17

Lynchburg

32-12

59

NR

18

Emory

30-10

55

NR

19

Trine

30-6

53

7

20

Tufts

30-8

45

NR

21

Coe

32-9

35

19

22

Mary Hardin-Baylor

28-6

31

NR

23

Rowan

30-12

26

17

24

Cortland

29-14

23

NR

T25

Calvin

29-8

14

NR

T25

Wisconsin-Eau Claire

26-11-1

14

NR

Others receiving votes: Randolph-Macon 13, Southwestern 13, Geneseo 5, Arcadia 4, and Endicott 1.

Dropped out: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Moravian, Mount Saint Joseph, Muskingum, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Wisconsin-Whitewater.

* NOTE: Texas-Tyler is reclassifying to NCAA Division II, and Pfeiffer continues the process of going from Division II to Division III. Neither is eligible for the NCAA Division III Championship.

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