KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Fire Athletics history was made Tuesday evening when the NAIA released its Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll.
For the first time, a Southeastern University program was ranked first in an NAIA coaches’ poll. The Fire joined the NAIA during the 2009-10 school year.
Southeastern is the last remaining undefeated women’s basketball team in the NAIA, and received 11 of 12 first-place votes and a total of 312 points. Previous No. 1 Concordia (Neb.) picked up the other first place vote, and finished second with 302 total points.
“This is a culmination of years of process here at Southeastern,” said coach Tim Hays. “Each year, there’s been a step taken forward toward the goal. We’ve been striving towards earning national respect and staying in that realm.”
Individually, Ana Richter leads NAIA Division II in scoring (24 ppg) and field goal percentage (69%). As a team, the Fire are first in scoring defense (51.9 ppg), assists per game (22.6), field goal percentage (51.8%), and field goal percent defense (30.5%).
“This group of girls has come together fairly quickly and have continued to show there’s more in them,” said Hays. “I think we’re getting stronger and that’s shown as we’ve continued to climb the ladder.”
Winners of 49 consecutive regular season contests, and 50 of 51 total games under Hays, the Fire are back to action on Thursday at Coastal Georgia.