JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/1/2006 - The two-time defending NAIA National Champion Union University Lady Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in the NAIA Preseason Rankings released Wednesday. Union shares the top spot with Vanguard University (Calif.), one of the numerous ranked teams Union will play this season. In other rankings, Union was voted No. 2 in the Victory Sports NAIA Preseason Poll (www.victorysportsnetwork.com) and was picked to finish first in the TranSouth Conference (www.transouth.org).
In the NAIA Preseason Men’s Rankings, the Union University Bulldogs are ranked No. 5 in the nation. Union’s men are coming off back-to-back TranSouth Championship seasons. In other rankings, Union’s men were voted No. 9 in the Street and Smith College Basketball Preview, voted by the coaches as the No. 1 team in the TranSouth Preseason Poll (www.transouth.org), No. 7 in the Victory Sports NAIA Preseaon poll (www.victorysportsnetwork.com)
This season, the Union Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs have schedules that are littered with teams represented in their respective NAIA Top-25 rankings. On the women’s schedule, Union plays five ranked teams in their first six games of the year (No. 5 Houston Baptist, No. 8 Lee, No. 18 Georgetown, No. 16 Oklahoma Baptist, Co-No. 1 Vanguard). Also on the schedule for the Union Lady Bulldogs is No. 17 St. Xavier, No. 13, Cumberland, No. 7 Freed-Hardeman, No. 20 Trevecca Nazarene, and No. 25 Lambuth. In all, Union plays 14 of their 30 regular season games versus teams ranked in the preseason poll.
On the men’s side, Union opens the season versus No. 18 Olivet Nazarene on Nov. 4 at Union. In fact, of the first 10 games for the Union men, nine are against teams ranked in the Top-26 (No. 18 Olivet Nazarene twice, No. 17 Oklahoma Baptist twice, No. 4 Mountain State, No. 26 McKendree twice. No. 25 Oklahoma Christian, and No. 15 Houston Baptist). In addition, Union also plays two games versus fellow TranSouth foe, No. 19 Crichton. Union’s men play a total of 10 games versus teams ranked in the preseason top-25. In addition to that, Union plays another eight games versus teams receiving votes (McKendree, Lambuth, Trevecca Nazarene, and Lyon twice each).
Union opens the season this coming Saturday, November 4th during Homecoming Week at Union. The Lady Bulldogs will play St. Gregory’s University (Okla.) at 2:00 pm followed by the men’s game versus Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) at 4:00 pm. The games can be heard on The Patriot 97.7 FM or seen on E-Plus TV 6.
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