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

Third regional rankings released

The NCAA published the third regional rankings of the season this afternoon. These are the last regional rankings that we will see before selection day. The national selection committee creates a final set of rankings, traditionally not available to the public, for each region. Those fourth rankings form the order for selection purposes.

I made a soft-sell plea with the NCAA for the national committee to publish the fourth regional rankings. If not coinciding with the tournament selection release, then sometime soon. Some other Division III sports have published those national committee rankings. I think it’s a nice bit of transparency. Not only that, but with the changes in criteria this season, I think it makes perfect sense to release those rankings.

One major criteria change states — for purposes of results against ranked opponents — teams are considered ranked at the time of selection. How will we know which teams are ranked at the time of selection if the fourth rankings are not published? Sure, we’ll have a very good idea of a majority of the ranked teams. Guess what? Hope and Calvin will be ranked in the Great Lakes no matter what happens in the MIAA tournament. That criterion used to be, in short, “Once ranked, always ranked,” meaning a team was factored into results against ranked opponents if it only appeared in the Week 1 rankings.

UPDATE (11/7 @ 9:30 p.m.): To clarify the point, “Once ranked, always ranked” at least gave us a data set from which to build upon. The new criterion wipes the slate clean with each ranking. In other words the results against ranked teams listed on previous regional ranking PDF’s is, in technical terms, meaningless.

So that was my soft sell. Instead of leaving a primary criterion to player/fan/coach/parent/etc. conjecture, how about we get to see the data behind the decisions? We don’t need to get D-I men’s basketball-level transparency and disclosure. We just want to see the national committee’s PDF’s after selections are made. It’s not a lot to expect. In fact it may be the bare minimum to expect that a primary criterion isn’t decided at the 11th hour without public data.

The bottom line is thousands of women dedicate hundreds of hours to the sport at this level each year. The least you could do is provide information as to why some of their seasons will be over after this weekend. No, the third regional rankings won’t give us a complete enough answer.

Blathering over. Here’s the good stuff.

Week 3 Central (Weeks 1,2 rank)
1. St. Thomas (1,1)
2. Washington-St. Louis (2,2)
3. Augsburg (3,3)
4. Saint Benedict (4,4)
5. Coe (5,5)
6. Wartburg (NR,NR)
Dropped out: No. 6 Concordia-Moorhead.

Week 3 Midwest (Weeks 1, 2 rank)
1. Elmhurst (1,1)
2. UW-Stevens Point (2,2)
3. Chicago (3,3)
4. UW-Eau Claire (6,4)
5. UW-Whitewater (4,5)
6. Cornell (5,6)
7. Millikin (7,7)
Dropped out: None.

Top two in other regions (Weeks 1, 2 rank):
Great Lakes: No. 1 Hope (1,1); No. 2 Calvin (2,2).
New: None.

Mid-Atlantic: No. 1 Juniata (1,1); No. 2 Eastern (2,2).
New: None.

New England: No. 1 Roger Williams (T1,1); No. 2 Springfield (4,2).
New: No. 12 UMass Boston.
Dropped Out: No. 11 Babson.

New York: No. 1 Clarkson (T2,1); No. 2 Stockton (4,3).
New: None.

South: No. 1 Emory (1,1); No. 2 Trinity (Texas) (2,2).
New: No. 8 Centre.
Dropped out: No. 7 Hardin-Simmons.

West: No. 1 Cal Lutheran (1,1); No. 2 Colorado College (2,2).
New: No. 5 Pomona-Pitzer.
Dropped out: No. 6 Chapman.

Commentary, if any, will follow later tonight. Leave a comment if you have opinions of your own.

-Ricky Nelson


Written by Ricky Nelson

November 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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