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

2011 tournament field revealed

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My projections didn’t hold up. No surprise there. I only got 19 of 22 at-larges correct. Stevenson, Pacific Lutheran and Bethel were NCAA selections over my picks of Case, Washington and Lee, and Puget Sound. Yesterday, some of you even pointed out where I went wrong. The national committee bumped PLU over UPS in the West for the first time all season.

Here are my first-glance highlights:
• The only (logical) way Washington and Moorhead could have hosted is if they both hosted. Both schools earned the right to be in the mix. I’m a bit shocked that the Midwest Region doesn’t have a host school.
• Other host schools: Cal Lutheran, Calvin, Eastern (at Neumann), Christopher Newport, Clarkson and Springfield. I wonder whether Cortland submitted a host bid.
• Congrats on making the NCAA, Webster. Your opponent is down the street basically.
• My vote for biggest gripe is a tie between Washington and Lee and Case.
• I’m sure you have a favorite matchup, but the MIAC vs. WIAC ones are my “wow” first-rounders.
• The Moorhead Regional is a bit difficult, no? Ridiculously so in my opinion.

What are your takeaways from this morning?

-Ricky Nelson


Written by Ricky Nelson

November 7, 2011 at 11:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

14 Responses

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  1. I hope you were being sarcastic about the Moorhead Regional!

    According to the coaches poll…#8, #12, and #24

    How about the Calvin region?? #1, #5, #9, and #14

    There’s NO comparison between those 2 regions!!


    November 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm

  2. Potato, potahto. Not sarcastic at all. You’re looking at the top half. I’m referring to depth. I agree that there’s no comparison in that regard.


    November 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm

  3. wow. snc really got jobbed having to go to from Green Bay to the other side of Lake Michigan to play in another region against the #1 team in the country! I realize their poor ranking is low but thought that they might put up a fight if they remained in the Midwest against a WIAC or CCIW team. Oh well, strap it on…got to be at least a seven hour ride to Grand Rapids.


    November 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm

  4. Once the committee decided on Moorhead and WashU as hosts, SNC going to Calvin is inevitable. It’s a flight to Moorhead (515 miles), so that’s out of the question. It’s 391 miles to Calvin and 492 miles to WashU. The opponent is worst-case scenario, but it’s the best the NCAA could do as far as travel. That regional also gets started a day earlier than the others.

    You’re also not alone in having a trek to Michigan. Heidelberg has to travel 200+ miles. Rose, Witt, Geneva and Ott are 300+ like you.

    Good luck over there.


    November 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

  5. I have a few points:

    1st: The Standard Deviation of the Regional Ranks (aka the depth) of the Moorhead regional is the most centered around the mean

    2nd: The SUNY Cortland regional may have the most unbalanced semifinals

    3rd: Coe college?

    Jack Schmidt

    November 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm

  6. Jack,
    1st: That sentence tells me that we’d be fast friends.

    2nd: Can’t disagree.

    3rd: Gaudy record. Underwhelming numbers behind the record.


    November 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm

  7. The winning teams from each region are only going to play 3 other teams, so depth is really not a good measurement of difficulty. (If they played a round-robin, then I’d agree with you).

    It would be interesting to see which coaches would want to switch out of their regional and into the Moorhead regional. And which regional they are glad they aren’t in.

    I’m guessing several coaches would say “Yes, please!” to the former question and “the Calvin regional” to the latter.

    Just sayin’


    November 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm

  8. (2:19) I think a lot of teams in every regional wish that they could be in another one simply because the teams know each other so well.

    I also think there are three very heavy favorites in the Great Lakes first round. There are zero such favorites in Moorhead. To me that makes it a more difficult regional. If you’re saying that the Great Lakes is miles ahead of the Central and Midwest regions, well, that’s a bold statement. And I would respect that opinion.


    November 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

  9. not miles ahead…but I think it’s a less daunting task to beat three top 20 teams than two top 10 teams and an unranked team.


    November 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm

  10. Another thing to consider, is how incredibly weak the two New York/New England Regionals are. The Cortland regional has just one AVCA team, and only four teams appear in the most recent regional rankings top 8.

    The other awful region is the Springfield regional which has numbers 19 and 20 and then two in the RV category. The ONLY regional that has all 8 competitors in the last published regional rankings is the Moorhead regional and only 1 has 7/8, The PLU regional.

    I guess i would point out to you that the region everyone is ignoring is the WashU regional, where two teams that finished #1 in their regional rankings must play each other in the Regional Final. I guess i am putting more stock in regional rankings, as the national polls sometimes lag behind what coaches in region are actually seeing in a team.

    Anyway, im from the Central Region and know those teams a bit better, but two things come to mind now.

    1st, The NCAA must seriously be on some special drugs when they seeded some of these regions…

    Coming to mind immediately (and to the subject of this blog)

    UW-Steven’s point being put in the #8 spot and UWEC in the #7 spot. I realize that this is most likely due to the 4 MIAC teams, but having seen NW and CSS in action this year, i dont agree that BOTH of these teams should have to have THAT hard of a first round. CSS/NW dont have the competition in the UMAC that the MIAC or WIAC have to offer, nor should St. Thomas/Concordia be forced to play teams that are much better than Bethel, whom both teams beat/

    See also the PLU regional where you have a lot of #2’s and #3 in the region playing other top 5 teams 1st round.

    Also, Juniata is playing the same team for the third straight time

    Why does D3 have such firmly divided regions? I realize that travel time is a large consideration, but when you are causing teams to drive upwards of 3 hours ( or in UWEC’s case 5 and 1/2) why cant you just send teams to the true top 8 teams in the country for regionals? I agree, the Calvin regional as well as the Christopher Newport one are absolutely ridiculously stacked, so why should they be forced to duke it out when such awful regionals in New York arent that far away to meet in a neutral site in Ohio?

    Jack Schmidt

    November 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm

  11. NY and NE have lagged behind the others traditionally. I won’t go too in depth, but there are some schools in NE that are at huge disadvantages with recruiting. And it’s not academic standards, while stringent, that are the cause. Still, the NE rep at the finals has been OK in recent years. And there are soooo many D-III volleyball programs in the northeast. No matter how much talent there is, it has to get diluted.

    There are not enough crumbs hitting D-III to allow for a tournament like in D-I basketball or volleyball. I like the regional basis of D-III. It makes sense when the NCAA ties in tourney bids with a heavy regional flavor. It fits the stated motto of D-III, which cannot be confused with the mottoes of D-II and D-I.

    There are some weird matchups. You hit on one of my favorites: the No. 1 WIAC tourney seed against the No. 1 MIAC tourney seed. In the first round. But you’re right. The NCAA tries to avoid conference matchups in the first round. It failed to do so a few years ago when Oshkosh and Platteville played each other for the 138th time (roughly) that year in Round 1.

    The same regionals are tough year in, year out. It’s a fact of life in D-III. The potential Carthage vs. Elmhurst match at WashU in Round 2 doesn’t smell right. Same for Chicago and WashU. But if the committee was determined to have regionals in St. Louis and Moorhead, this setup had to happen because there’s very little wiggle room in terms of mileages.



    November 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm

  12. Because only Cortland and Nazareth could get as far as Cleveland in under 500 miles. Skidmore, NYU-Poly, Baruch, Stockton and all of New England cannot.


    November 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm

  13. Point of clarification for Jack, Bethel did beat Concordia in their only match-up this year. Otherwise great points.


    November 8, 2011 at 12:14 am

  14. i meant st. bens… whoops

    Jack Schmidt

    November 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm

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