The NAIA national rankings have not been kind to Baker University athletics teams this week.
Not only did the Baker football team drop out of NAIA top 25 with after its 21-20 loss to William Jewell last week, but another fixture in the polls also fell out of the rankings as well -- the BU women's soccer team.
The men's soccer team, ranked earlier in the season, is also nowhere to be found in recent polls as the team has struggled to a 6-5-1 record.
Currently, the only Baker program ranked in the top 25 in a national poll is the women's cross country team, which moved up to No. 24 after being slated No. 25 a week ago. The women's cross country team will travel to William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., to compete in the NAIA Mid-States meet this Saturday to defend its ranking against some of the best teams in the Midwest.
Despite a 2-1 week that ran its record to 11-3, the BU women dropped out of the national rankings, but remained at the top of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
The women began last week by losing to William Woods College, 2-1, in overtime on the road.
Baker bounced back against Briar Cliff three days later with a 6-2 win, and picked up a 2-1 overtime victory over Nebraska Wesleyan.
Baker is currently tied for first place in the HAAC with Lindenwood. Both teams are 3-0 in the conference and are the only teams with winning overall records.
The Wildcats will face Lindenwood next Sunday at the North Park soccer fields in Baldwin for a match that could determine the conference title-winner.
Sophomore Kathy Sobba leads the team with eight goals in 14 games. The 5-foot-9 midfielder from Overland Park was named the HAAC's offensive player of the week last Monday when she scored three game-winning goals for the Wildcats as the team went 3-0.
Sophomore Meghan Braun and freshman Jen Weigel have five goals apiece, while Amy Taylor has five assists.
Baker will travel to Southern Nazarene on Saturday.
Hanging in the middle of the pack of the HAAC is an unfamiliar position for the men's soccer team to be in, but that's exactly where the perennial conference contenders find themselves with six regular-season games left to go.
Tied for fifth in the HAAC with a 2-2 conference record, Baker began last week by handing William Jewell its first loss of the season in double overtime, 1-0.
Later in the week, Baker dropped a 5-2 decision to St. Gregory's at BU.
Yet with three conference games left to play, Baker trails conference front-runner Lindenwood by only two victories in a tight HAAC race.
Sophomore Erik Jones leads the team with four goals, while senior Peter Lenz has three. Sophomore goalkeeper Sean Brown carries a 1.18 goals-against average and has four shutouts and 49 saves in 11 games played.
This week, Baker will travel to Central Methodist College Thursday.
Last week was a bit of a struggle for the BU volleyball team.
After starting the season 17-4, the team has lost three consecutive matches going after Tuesday night's match with conference front-runner Graceland at Baker's Collins Center.
Graceland rallied for a 13-15, 15-7, 15-13, 15-7 victory. Kathy Kern had 11 kills and 10 digs to pace Baker (17-7). Jackie Sommer had nine kills and five service aces.
In matches against Lindenwood and Peru State last week, the Wildcats lost in three straight games.
On Friday the team will travel to the Missouri Baptist Invitational, a two-day tournament, before traveling to face Central Methodist and Culver-Stockton Oct. 19 and Oct. 20.
It's only fall, but Baker's young women's golf program already appears to noticeably stronger.
At last Friday's Newman University Fall Invitational Tournament at Pawnee Prairie Golf Course in Wichita, the women's team finished second and a freshman claimed top medalist honors for the team.
Sarah Payne, a freshmen from Topeka, won the tournament by firing an 81 on the 5,928-yard, par-72 course despite suffering from a bout with the flu.
Sophomore Meghan Lewis, a native of Syracuse, tied with two other golfers for second with an 83. Additionally, freshmen Amanda Michel shot a personal-best of 87.
The team finished its fall season Monday at the Rockhurst University Fall Invitational.
The Baker men's and women's basketball programs continued their preseason practices this week after opening last week.
Both teams will open their seasons Nov. 6.