I received an email this morning notifying me that this here thing that you’re reading is ranked 21st among “the top 40 volleyball blogs on the planet” by Feedspot. Hey, how about that!
If nothing else, take a look at the listed blogs to perhaps find another fun diversion. Not saying this blog is “fun,” but volleyball is.
Natalia Koryzna has been named the new head coach at Westminster (Mo.). She was most recently the head coach at Battle High School in Columbia, Mo.
The NCAA approved a new Division III conference — the American Collegiate Athletic Association — that will consolidate many of the formerly independent Division III women’s volleyball programs.
The ACAA will be comprised of New York institutions Alfred State and SUNY Canton, Finlandia from Michigan, Maine-Presque Isle, Mills from California, Pine Manor from Massachusetts and Valley Forge from Pennsylvania.
The new conference held a handful of unofficial postseason tournaments, including women’s volleyball, last season. The ACAA will officially conduct league postseason championships beginning in 2017-18.
My take: New leagues are required a two-year waiting period before becoming eligible for NCAA postseason access. The ACAA should be on track to gain an automatic berth for the 2019 championship as the league has the minimum of seven members, and Alfred State is in provisional status until 2018 anyway.
In essence, the newly formed ACAA will perform the same function as the recently defunct Great South Athletic Conference, which had a similar amalgamation of programs. I always treated Pool B team as a conference anyway because that was its rationale. Each program has two opportunities to gain access to championships.
By my count, there are now six independent programs, two teams in the provisional process without a conference and three in the exploratory phase of D III. The takeaway is that Pool B should not be a thing for the foreseeable future. Now I won’t get to shake my head over a team like Rust tipping the scales of the access ratio to trigger a Pool B berth.
If anyone can tell me how or why Rust has been eligible for the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship in the recent past, I have a few eye rolls left in me. Any scheduling waiver should not supersede something like a 10-match varsity schedule or whatever Rust ended up putting together, which was hard to tell based on NCAA stats (55 team kills in 30 sets?) and Rust’s own beautiful website.
My math said if there were one or two fewer Pool B teams in the past couple of years, there should not have been a Pool B berth based on declarations to other association postseasons, provisional statuses and whatnot. The good ol’ Rust Bearcats … I wonder how many national committee members know Rust exists and/or why its existence perhaps played a role in there being a Pool B berth. I’ve been wanting to rant publicly about Rust for years. Glad I had this tangential excuse.
The All D III Teams, Conferences page has been updated to reflect the new league, updated provisional programs and new exploratory members.
Eureka promoted Becca Idell to head coach after concluding last season as the interim coach.
Finlandia elevated Aubrey Havlichek to head coach after finishing last season in an interim capacity.
Sarah Graves was hired as the new head coach at Macalester. Graves was most recently the head coach at Denison.
Central head coach Kent Clayberg is leaving after 19 seasons.
Central joins the list of C/MW Region teams that have yet to announce new hires. Also included on that list are Wheaton (Ill.), Finlandia, Grinnell, Rockford and Westminster (Mo.).
Northwestern outside Lindsey Peterson was named the 2017 Honda D III Athlete of the Year nominee for volleyball, making her one of 11 finalists for the Collegiate Women Sports Awards honor. The winner will be presented June 26.
Peterson was previously selected the American Volleyball Coaches Association 2016 Division III Player of the Year.
Add Rockford to the list of Central and Midwest region teams in search of a new coach.
Also still on the NCAA Market list: Finlandia; Wheaton (Ill.); Grinnell; Macalester.
UPDATE 1/21/17: Westminster (Mo.) is seeking a new coach. Macalester’s listing is no longer on NCAA Market.