INDIANAPOLIS - No. 16 Carson-Newman has jumped three spots in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings released on Wednesday afternoon.
The Eagles (13-3) made pit stops at sixth and fifth in the first two releases of the region rankings.
The top two teams in each region will host the opening rounds in the NCAA Tournament when the conference tournaments come to a close in early November. No. 1 nationally ranked Columbus State, a team in which C-N faced to kick off the 2018 season, holds the top spot in the region sporting a 14-0-1 in-region record.
Simon Duffy's group vaulted past Limestone, Lander, and North Georgia in its landing at No. 2. C-N defeated then ranked the No.13 Saints on Oct. 24 at McCown Field 1-0 in overtime. The Eagles also topped Catawba (13-4) who have flirted with the region rankings over the past two weeks.
Lander sits in third with an in-region record of 12-2-1 with Flagler (11-3-1) and North Georgia (10-4-1) rounding out the top five. Limestone (14-2) dropped back to sixth despite two Nighthawk losses.
South Atlantic Conference foe Lincoln Memorial (11-4) and UNC Pembroke (9-4-1) round out the top-eight teams. The top eight from each region reach the NCAA Tournament.
Lenoir-Rhyne (10-5-1) currently is on the outside looking in at No. 9. The Bears and Railsplitters are set to face off in the SAC semifinal on Friday, Nov. 2.
"We got some much-needed wins over the past week," Coach Duffy said. "We want to be in those top two positions to get that first round bye and host for another year and obviously we still have some work to do yet this weekend. As a team and a staff, we can't get too caught up in all that stuff just yet so we'll keep pressing on and go from there."
The Eagles will face Catawba for the second time in six days when the two go head-to-head in the SAC semis on Friday, Nov. 2.