KANSAS CITY, MO. – Moving up the charts with a bullet, the Iowa Wesleyan College women’s basketball team received the highest ranking in school history when the NAIA Division II coaches’ poll was released Monday afternoon by the NAIA.
The Tigers are ranked 15th in the nation this week, moving up eight spots from last week when Wesleyan made its first appearance in the poll this season. IWC won its lone game last week, 89-53 over Waldorf College, and took over first place in the Midwest Collegiate Conference, improving to 14-7 overall, 7-1 in conference play.
The ranking is the highest in school history in the NAIA Division II poll, surpassing the Tigers’ position in the 2007-08 preseason poll when IWC was ranked 18th nationally. Previously the program’s best ranking in season was last year, when the Tigers were 22nd in the final poll of the 2008-09 regular season.
Wesleyan also made the biggest leap of any team in the polls this week, receiving 230 points to move up from 23rd last week. The Tigers also moved ahead of conference rival St. Ambrose University, the second MCC team in the top 25. St. Ambrose (18-4) dropped from 11th to 17th this week after losing at Clarke College on Saturday. The Queen Bees also dropped to 6-2 in conference, one game behind IWC in the standings.
Grand View University just missed giving the MCC three teams in the top 25. The Vikings (16-6) won their lone game last week and are currently 27th, two spots outside the top 25 after receiving 54 votes this week. Grand View also is tied with St. Ambrose for second in the MCC with a 6-2 league mark.
Wesleyan currently has three wins over current top 25 teams as well as a pair of losses to teams in the NAIA Division II top 10. The Tigers defeated #17 St. Ambrose at home and have neutral court wins over Walsh (Ohio) University, which moved into the polls at #20 this week, and Marian (Ind.) University, which is ranked 24th for the second straight week. IWC also lost to #6 Jamestown (N.D.) College by six points at home on Nov. 27 and at #9 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) on the road on Nov. 14.
Iowa Wesleyan also has home wins over Grand View and Valley City State (N.D.) University, both of which received votes in this week’s poll. Wesleyan also lost in overtime earlier this season at Quincy (Ill.) University, ranked 23rd in the latest NCAA Division II poll.
The Tigers will put their ranking on the line three times this week, including a game Tuesday night at rival William Penn University. The teams will play Tuesday night after their game originally scheduled for Monday was postponed due to weather. Game time at Penn Gymnasium will be 5:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast online live at www.iwc.edu/onlinemedia.
For more information regarding the IWC basketball programs or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Complete NAIA Division II national poll