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

2012 Week 3 regional rankings have arrived

These are the last regional rankings that we get to see. The regional committees will hammer out another one on Sunday after conference tournaments are completed. Then the national selection committee will take under advisement the fourth set of rankings that the regional committee submits. However, keep in mind that the national committee can (should) change a regional committee’s final order if the rankings do not reflect the primary criteria.

So, despite these being the last rankings that we get to see, there are a lot of ins, a lot of outs, and a lot of what-have-yous before we see the tournament field on Monday morning. Consider this third set of rankings as you did the first two – a reflective look at matches past. Conference tournament matches and any other match this week against full-member D-III teams still have to be accounted for before Monday. If you did not know, conference tournament matches are included in the primary selection criteria.

Central Region
Current rank (Wk 1, Wk 2), team, in-region record, overall record
1(1,1). St. Thomas 28-0 32-1
2(2,2). Washington-St. Louis 19-1 25-2
3(4,4). Saint Benedict 26-4 26-4
4(3,3). Wartburg 24-7 30-4
5(5,5). Northwestern 24-8 24-8
6(7,7). Concordia-Moorhead 10-9 12-10
7(6,6). Bethel 18-12 19-12
8(8,8). Carleton 16-9 17-9

Midwest Region
Current rank (Wk 1, WK 2), team, in-region record, overall record
1(2,1). Elmhurst 19-5 26-7
2(1,2). UW-Whitewater 24-7 24-10
3(4,3). UW-Stevens Point 26-6 28-6
4(5,4). Dominican 23-7 23-7
5(3,5). Chicago 22-8 26-9
6(7,6). UW-Eau Claire 22-10 22-11
7(NR,8). Carthage 20-9 24-11
8(8,7). UW-Platteville 18-9 21-12

• Fairly annoying that the PDF’s still don’t have records vs. regionally ranked teams. How hard would it have been to include a very important primary criterion? There’s room on the PDF.
• I don’t have big problems with the Central or Midwest rankings. I think Platteville at No. 8 in the Midwest is suspect but perhaps correct. The candidates to take UWP’s place were probably Millikin, Cornell, North Central (Ill.), and UW-River Falls. The message the Central committee is sending to teams looking for an edge: copy Concordia-Moorhead’s schedule. Then again the Central simply does not have a large pool of contenders for regional rankings – certainly not as large of a pool as the Midwest. If the criteria were to be applied evenly, Nebraska Wesleyan appears to have been one win away from being regionally ranked.
• It’s highly questionable that Christopher Newport jumped ahead of Emory in the South rankings. Emory was No. 1 in the South the first two rankings, like it should have been. Since the second rankings, Emory lost an in-region match to Wittenberg, which just happens to be ranked No. 2 in the loaded Great Lakes Region. Emory’s win over UMass-Boston was not in-region. Since the second rankings, CNU beat Salisbury, which happens to be No. 1 in the not-as-loaded Mid-Atlantic Region. CNU’s win over Cortland was not in-region. Emory has played arguably the best in-region schedule in the nation and has a .664 strength of schedule. CNU has played a very good schedule and has a .601 SOS. It may not seem like much, but that’s a gigantic advantage in SOS for Emory. CNU is 22-2 in-region; Emory is 20-3. Small edge for CNU there, no doubt. Both teams’ in-region losses are more than reasonable. Were CNU and Emory so close last week that a loss to one of the best teams in the country (Wittenberg) tipped the scales? If so, there’s the small problem that CNU also lost to Witt this year by the same 3-1 score. Is CNU’s win over Salisbury what tipped the scales? Is there anyone in the country who thinks Salisbury is better than CNU on CNU’s home floor, which is where that match took place? Similarly, are we assuming that No. 1 teams from all regions are comparable? The NCAA tourney selections disprove that notion. If Stevenson and Wittenberg were in-region matches for a team, a win over which of those two would you think carries more weight? Is the difference the fact that CNU beat Southwestern and Southwestern beat Emory? Huge advantage for CNU on that criterion. But does that cancel out Emory’s win over CNU? Yes, Emory beat CNU! One of CNU’s two in-region losses is to Emory. They played one time and Emory won in five on a neutral floor in Texas. If one match should tip the scales in a close race between two teams, wouldn’t a rational person choose the head-to-head match between those two teams? I think the regional committee left the national committee some work to do in the South Region.

Anyone out there have an opinion on the third regional rankings or my thoughts about the rankings?

-Ricky Nelson

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Written by Ricky Nelson

November 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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