D III Women's Volleyball

A source for NCAA Division III women's volleyball info and opinion, with a focus on the Midwest and Central regions

Archive for August 2010

Tommies top MIAC poll

With a coaching carousel whirling around them, the St. Thomas Tommies are in familiar territory: the MIAC hunted. Not surprising news, but MIAC coaches predict eighth-ranked St. Thomas will be the top team in the conference. The Tommies lose one player from a team that was one match away from the Elite 8.

St. Thomas collected nine first-place votes while St. Olaf got the other three to finish second in the poll. Saint Benedict was third, followed by a tie for fourth between Concordia and Saint Mary’s. Of those five, only Concordia failed to reach the NCAA tournament.

This year I think all five make it. I actually think Saint Ben’s, No. 3 in the poll and last year’s co-champ, is on the thinest ground heading into the year in the Midwest Region’s deepest conference. But new coach and star graduations or not, the Blazers should be fine.

I, too, like the Tommies to win their fourth consecutive regular season championship. What’s not to like? But I wouldn’t be surprised if St. Olaf or Concordia claims the top spot. The MIAC will be fun all year. Roughly the top two-thirds of the conference could beat each other on any night, and there will be four or five deserving NCAA teams when all is said and done.

In accordance to being the best volleyball conference in either the Midwest or Central region in 2010, the MIAC also provided the best preview/coaches’ poll in either region. Click here read it.

-Ricky Nelson

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Written by Ricky Nelson

August 28, 2010 at 7:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Wartburg wins muddled IIAC preseason vote

The IIAC coaches like Wartburg slightly more than Luther, Simpson and Loras in the 2010 preseason coaches poll. Wartburg got five first-place votes and 66 total points, followed by Loras (2, 58), Simpson (1, 56) and Loras (1, 54). The IIAC again looks like a deep, multibid conference despite the talent that left the league after 2009. Many of the top six that make the IIAC tournament could be in the running for a Pool C bid.

Simpson, last year’s tournament and regular-season champ, lost a lot this offseason. Ditto Luther, a Pool C team last season. I think Simpson will remain strong, but my pick is the same as the coaches – Wartburg.

See the entire IIAC release here.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

August 28, 2010 at 7:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NAC coaches: Dominican in a landslide

NAC coaches were asked. “Dominican” was the overwhelming majority answer.

The Stars, who won a share of the 2009 regular season title, received 11 of 13 first-place votes to lead the NAC preseason poll. The other two ’09 tri-champs, Lakeland and Benedictine, were second and third in the poll, respectively. Lakeland and Concordia Chicago got the remaining two first-place votes (Concordia Chicago, even with a top vote, was chosen to finish seventh). Edgewood and Concordia Wisconsin rounded out the predicted top five.

My pick? I’ll take Benedictine, although it feels wrong to pick against Lakeland winning a volleyball championship, and the coaches’ choice does return three All-NAC players. Nah, I’ll stick with Benedictine.

Here is the full NAC release.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

August 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

UMAC coaches choose St. Scholastica

UMAC coaches see a changing of the guard in 2010, the first year the conference will receive a Pool A (automatic) bid to the NCAA tournament.

St. Scholastica edged recent UMAC power Northwestern in the 2010 preseason coaches poll. CSS received 46 points and four first-place votes to Northwestern’s 45 and three. Minnesota Morris got the remaining first-place vote and finished third in the poll.

St. Scholastica won last year’s UMAC tournament while Northwestern won the regular season. Much like the MWC coaches’ poll where, after losing several seniors, usual champ St. Norbert was outpolled by upstart Beloit, Northwestern also loses a lot of talent from last season, including two-time UMAC player of the year Steph Koth. Like Beloit, St. Scholastica returns much of last year’s core.

However, unlike the MWC, where I thought the upstart program was the right choice, I’m going with the old reliable: Northwestern, winner of five of the last eight regular season titles.

Read the full UMAC release here.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

August 27, 2010 at 8:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized

UMAC to unveil preseason poll after live chat

In a creative, fan-friendly event for fans of D-III volleyball, the UMAC will stream a live online chat with all eight volleyball head coaches Thursday at 9:45 a.m. Four coaches will fill each of two 30-minute blocks, culminating in the announcement of the coaches’ preseason poll on the conference website.

An online Media Day for D-III volleyball? Kudos, UMAC! I hope other area leagues follow your lead. Not everyone can get to St. Paul on Thursday morning, and allowing fan access is a welcome addition to the process.

Here is the full UMAC live chat release.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

August 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Forget history, Beloit is MWC coaches’ pick

In a mild upset, the MWC coaches voted Beloit the favorite this season over St. Norbert. Then again if you read the blog this month you’ll know that Beloit returns a lot from its runner-up 2009 team while St. Norbert lost many seniors from its ’09 squad that went 9-0 in the MWC and beat Beloit twice by a combined 6-1 set advantage.

St. Norbert has won the last two MWC regular season crowns and five of the last eight. Beloit has won two since 1978 (2006, 1995). Therein expands upon the mild surprise. That written, my vote is for Beloit as well.

Beloit and St. Norbert were the clear frontrunners in the coaches’ minds. BC received six first place votes. SNC got the remaining four. Grinnell and Lake Forest tied for third in the poll.

Here’s the MWC release.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

August 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

AVCA releases ’10 preseason poll

Defending champion Washington was the unanimous No. 1 team in the land, followed by runner-up Juniata. Emory, Hope and Colorado rounded out the top five.

Besides Wash U, 11 other Central and Midwest region teams received votes.
6. UW Oshkosh
7. Carthage
8. St. Thomas
13. UW-Eau Claire
14. UW-Whitewater
19. St. Olaf
24. St. Mary’s
RV Saint Benedict
RV Nebraska Wesleyan
RV North Central (Ill.)
RV Chicago

Here is the complete ’10 AVCA preseason poll.

As usual I don’t agree with where some teams were ranked, namely Christopher Newport and Eastern. I posted my top 10 earlier this month with brief explanations for the rankings. Here’s mine with AVCA’s in parentheses:
1. Washington (1)
2. Juniata (2)
3. Emory (3)
4. Colorado (5)
5. UW Oshkosh (6)
6. Christopher Newport (15)
7. Hope (4)
8. Eastern (18)
9. Carthage (7)
10. St. Thomas (8)

I’d like to think I’m correct on those two teams. We’ll find out in about three months.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

August 19, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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