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

Reflecting on the 2nd regional rankings

Well done again, Central Region committee. Based on the numbers, I wouldn’t change a thing. The minor adjustments were justified. As I stated several times, I really like St. Olaf ahead of St. Thomas. And Saint Mary’s over Nebraska Wesleyan makes a lot of sense.

Keeping up the positive beat, thank you to the people responsible for providing records versus in-region ranked teams. That’s a much appreciated addition. As a bonus, all of the numbers checked out. I was hoping to find an error or two. Alas …

In the Midwest, Carthage and UW-Eau Claire are very close. UWEC has an edge in all criteria except head-to-head. I agree that Carthage should be the leader, but it’s a razor-thin margin. I also agree that Elmhurst and Millikin should be seventh and eighth, respectively. It’s with the middle four teams that I have a problem. Go figure, right?

If we can agree that UW-Platteville, UW-Whitewater, Chicago and UW Oshkosh are the third through sixth teams (I do, the committee does), how can you not compare them to each other? I mean take those four teams – and no others because there isn’t much debate that those are the middle four teams – and see how they stack up against each other, using the stated primary criteria in the Handbook.

Wash U beat Juniata? Fantastic for Wash U, but it doesn’t matter in the primary criteria. The flipside example is Chicago lost to unranked but in-region Dominican? Still doesn’t matter outside of the hit to the record (which counts the same as a loss to Wash U or Blackburn) and a hit to the SOS (but that would have occurred had Chicago won). Oshkosh is 4-4 in its last eight and has lost its last three against ranked teams? Neither is a stated primary criterion. What if Whitewater lost to Chicago by only two in the fifth set? Close doesn’t matter. All of that boring and admittedly intuitive rambling leads to the pertinent facts:

No. 3 UW-Platteville: 21-3 in-region, .574 SOS, 4-3 vs. ranked teams, beat Whitewater, lost to Oshkosh, beat Chicago
No. 4 UW-Whitewater: 18-5 in-region, .599 SOS, 5-5 vs. ranked teams, lost to Platteville, lost to Oshkosh, lost to Chicago
No. 5 Chicago: 23-8 in-region, .577 SOS, 4-7 vs. ranked teams, split with Oshkosh, beat Whitewater, lost to Platteville
No. 6 UW Oshkosh: 21-6 in-region, .589 SOS, 5-5 vs. ranked teams, beat Whitewater, split vs. Chicago, beat Platteville

I’ve made it clear numerous times that I’m a huge fan of this year’s Platteville team. If any of the above four are correct, I may be convinced that UWP is No. 3, mostly because of UWP’s and UWO’s record against common regional opponent Elmhurst, but does that cancel out UWO’s head-to-head win over UWP? I don’t know. That’s close. Let me also be clear that I get it – the numbers are close and it’s a tough and thankless job for the most part. I said thanks to the Central committee, so that has to count for something.

For the record my order is: Oshkosh/Platteville, Platteville/Oshkosh, Chicago, Whitewater. To nip it in the bud, yes, I graduated from Oshkosh. I’m also more critical of Oshkosh on this site than any other team, and I think I’m being objective. Whether you agree or disagree, let me know your order for the “Midwest 4.”

In closing, for the sake of speculation, I think these three teams are just outside the rankings in both regions (in no particular order until I punted the last spot in the Midwest):
UW-Stevens Point
St. Norbert/Edgewood/UW-River Falls (couldn’t decide)

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

October 28, 2010 at 8:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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