(Editor's note: Unviersity of Providence press release)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Providence volleyball team jumped three spots in the latest NAIA National Rankings, receiving a No. 5 ranking. It is the first time in program history that the team, who was ranked No. 8 in the previous ranking, has been ranked in the Top 5 nationally.
"I'm ecstatic," head coach Arunas Duda said. "It's not something that I was expecting. We were hoping to move up a spot and would have been very pleased moving up two spots, and all of a sudden we climb three and are now in the Top 5 in the country. That's beyond my wildest expectations at this point and I'm so excited for our team."
With the release of the rankings, the Argos (23-2, 10-0) are 6-1 against teams currently ranked in the Top 25. They have defeated Grandview, Eastern Oregon, Concordia and Ottawa during their non-conference schedule, and defeated Montana Tech twice during the conference slate.
The Argos (23-2) completed the regular season on Saturday, defeating Rocky Mountain College in three sets for their 16th straight victory on the year. Their last loss was to Bellevue on Sept. 10, who is currently ranked #11 nationally. The Argos clinched the regular season title outright two weeks ago, earning the top-seed in the Frontier Conference Tournament.
"You look back and we've played some really good matches and some really poor matches during that stretch," Duda said. "They just keep finding a way to grind them out and stay in the wins column. Our team has showed a lot of grit, a lot of consistency and a lot of composure in those tight moments."
The team knows the new ranking will increase the size of the target on their back as they prepare for the Frontier Conference Tournament this weekend. As the top seed, the Argos will receive a bye in the first round, and will play the lowest remaining seed of the two first-round games in the semifinals. The semifinal game will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 12 in Helena, Mont.
"The target gets bigger every time," Duda said. "They all understand. I don't think that's going to change at all. All that's going to do is prepare us for the National Tournament. That's what we're hoping for. We're excited to get everyone's best shot now. Hopefully we can continue to keep the streak alive."
The full rankings can be found below.
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL [FIRST-PLACE VOTES]||RECORD||POINTS|
|1||1||Jamestown (N.D.) ||29-0||588|
|2||2||Viterbo (Wis.) ||35-1||575|
|5||9||College of Saint Mary (Neb.)||25-4||490|
|13||15||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||23-8||356|
|14||13||Central Methodist (Mo.)||27-6||341|
|18||20||Grand View (Iowa)||24-12||272|
|23||22||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||21-5||157|