by Ed Beach
The Drury Lady Panthers are ranked number one again in this week’s NCAA-II coaches’ poll. Drury is one of three undefeated teams in Division II as they enter the week 21-0 and 12-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
The Lady Panthers received 20 first-place votes this week while Ashland, ranked second with a 21-0 mark, picked up three votes for first. Grand Valley State (20-1) is ranked third as the top seven teams in the national rankings stayed the same as the previous week.
This week’s poll marks the 106th consecutive week the Lady Panthers have been in the top 25, the longest such streak in the nation. It is their 44th straight week in the top 10, and their 11th week in a row at number one dating back to the NCAA-II preseason poll in October.
Once again, the nation’s top three teams are all from the Midwest Region as Drury, Ashland, and Grand Valley State are ranked one, two, and three in this week’s poll. Ashland plays at Grand Valley State this Saturday in the second meeting of the year between the two teams. GVSU’s only loss this year was a 77-68 set-back at Ashland on Jan. 9.
Five teams from the Midwest Region are ranked in the top 25. In addition to the top three teams in the poll, Walsh (19-2) is ranked 12th, and Kentucky Wesleyan (21-1) is 24th this week. Both Walsh and Kentucky Wesleyan are out of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.