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Lady Bulldogs sit at No. 18 in NAIA poll for another week

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Union continues to be a mainstay in the national rankings as it came in 18th in the 2012-13 NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25, the national office announced Tuesday.

This marks the third poll in a row Union is the 18th-ranked team. The Lady Bulldogs (11-3 overall, 4-0 AAC) received 144 total voting points putting them five back of No. 17 St. Thomas (Fla.).

For the first time this season, Indiana Wesleyan claims the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Coaches' Top 25. The Wildcats collected all 12 first place-votes and 312 points in the fourth regular-season edition of the Coaches' Top 25 Poll.

Indiana Wesleyan jumps to the top of the poll after spending two weeks at No. 2. Indiana Wesleyan has started the season on a 17 game-winning streak, which is tied for the best in the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball. In the last two contests, Indiana Wesleyan has won by a margin of 37.5 points per games.

Union played Indiana Wesleyan earlier this season, losing to the Wildcats 61-55 on Nov. 16.

Falling one stop to No. 2 is Concordia (Neb.), who tallied 302 points. The Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season on Jan. 5 to Dordt (Iowa), 96-86, in double overtime. Moving up two spots to No. 3 is Davenport (Mich.). The Panthers, who are tied with Indiana Wesleyan on a 17 game-winning streak, recorded 285 points. Coming in at No. 4 is College of the Ozarks (Mo.) and Morningside (Iowa), as both notched 281 points.

Making the biggest jump this week was Valley City State (N.D.) moving from No. 17 to No. 12. The Vikings have won both of their 2013 games, defeating NCAA Division III, University of Minnesota-Morris, 65-39, on Jan. 4. and beating NCAA Division II South Dakota School of Mines, 59-47, on Jan. 7.

Joining the Top 25 is No. 19 St. Ambrose (Iowa), No. 20 Marian (Ind.) and No. 24 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.).
St. Ambrose is currently winning nine straight and is ranked for the first time since Nov. 28, 2011. Marian joins the Top 25 for the first time since Feb. 6, 2012 and is enjoying a six game-winning streak. Also winning six in-a-row is Dakota Wesleyan, who enters the poll for the first time since Feb. 24, 2004.

Three teams fell out of the Top 25: Huntington (Ind.) (No. 23), Menlo (Calif.) (No. 24) and Saint Mary (Neb.) (No. 25).

Eleven of the 13 Division II women's basketball conferences/independents are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Crossroads League and Great Plains Athletic Conference with five ranked teams each.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents. The fifth regular-season poll will be announced on Jan. 15.

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