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

Second regional rankings of 2015 released

The second regional rankings of the season have been released. Commentary, if any at all, later this evening.

UPDATE: There may be more later, but a head-to-head win has to overcome minor deficiencies in other criteria. And to be clear, I’m talking about the comparisons between UW-Eau Claire, Illinois Wesleyan and UW-Oshkosh, which happens to be one of two ranked teams to have beaten UW-Whitewater. The other is the top-ranked team in the West Region. Not all wins and losses to ranked teams are created equal.

The committee seems to be saying it is correcting mistakes in the Week 1 rankings. Now I think the Central rankings are pretty close and the Midwest ones are questionable. The reverse was true last week. We still have a couple of weeks to get this right.

Central Region (Week 1 rank)
1 (1). Washington-St. Louis
2 (3). Gustavus Adolphus
3 (4). Augsburg
4 (2). Wartburg
5 (5). Saint Benedict
6 (NR). Northwestern
7 (6). Coe
8 (8). Bethel
Dropped out: No. 7 Saint Mary’s (Minn.)

Midwest Region (Week 1 rank)
1 (1). UW-Whitewater
2 (2). Carthage
3 (5). Illinois Wesleyan
4 (4). UW-Eau Claire
5 (6). UW-Stevens Point
6 (7). Elmhurst
7 (8). Chicago
8 (3). UW-Oshkosh

The top four teams in other regions:
Great Lakes Region: 1. Calvin; 2. Wittenberg; 3. Hope; 4. Ohio Wesleyan.
Mid-Atlantic Region: 1. Juniata; 2. Christopher Newport; 3. Eastern; 4. Mary Washington.
New England Region: 1. MIT; 2. Amherst; 3. Springfield; 4. Bowdoin.
New York Region: 1. Clarkson; 2. Stockton; 3. Union; 4. SUNY Brockport.
South Region: 1. Emory; 2. Berry; 3. Randolph-Macon; 4. Hendrix.
West Region: 1. Colorado College; 2. Southwestern; 3. Texas Dallas; 4. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

-Ricky Nelson


Written by Ricky Nelson

October 28, 2015 at 11:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

14 Responses

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  1. Do the results from Wednesday night factor into these rankings? Curious with Whitewater staying at number 1 and St. Ben’s beating Augsburg


    October 29, 2015 at 2:14 pm

  2. No. Results through Sunday are considered each week.

    Ricky Nelson

    October 29, 2015 at 2:25 pm

  3. Another question. Does a team have to be ranked in region to be considered for selection? LaCrosse has wins over Whitewater, Eau Claire, Stevens Point in Midwest and Northwestern and Bethel in Central. I would think they would be close to being ranked and be better ranked than many teams in other regions.


    October 29, 2015 at 2:31 pm

  4. In the west I correctly saw the fall of Cal Lu and the rise of UTD, but the RAC left Southwestern ahead of UTD. So, this tells me that the RAC (at least the west) is not considering common opponent or Last 25%. The work sheets only include SOS, Win % and Ranked Win %, but I assume they also consider head-to-head. In the specific case of SU versus UTD, SU has SOS and head-to-head. UTD has Win % and Ranked %. (Both common opponent and Last 25% would go to UTD.)

    So, I have to ask, what good are the rankings if the RACs don’t use all of the criteria?

    Further, what’s the point of the RACs when a mathematical formula would suffice?


    October 29, 2015 at 2:38 pm

  5. True. You do not have to be ranked in any of the three public rankings in order to be selected. UW-Oshkosh made last year’s tourney despite not being listed in the third and final public rankings.

    Ricky Nelson

    October 29, 2015 at 2:40 pm

  6. MIAC – No, a team does not have to be ranked in the top 8 of a region to make the NCAA tournament. In theory, however, they shouldn’t be selected until the teams ranked ahead of them in their region are selected. We saw an exception last year with Colorado College and Southwestern. The NCAA travel budget plays a large role in taking teams from one region and placing them in another, however.


    October 29, 2015 at 2:42 pm

  7. “Further, what’s the point of the RACs when a mathematical formula would suffice?”
    This is what I’m talking about. Not all components that go into the final criteria are created equal. We used to determine at-large bids based on a formula (Quality of Wins Index). Thankfully we do not have that system any longer. However, it appears we do have a new system in place that believes numbers are irrefutable facts. One of my favorite quotes is “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies and statistics.”
    We need more a more artful massaging of the numbers. That way the numbers will reflect reality. Seems like a apt description of the RACs’ charge.

    Ricky Nelson

    October 29, 2015 at 2:49 pm

  8. Sorry for abusing the comments section.

    Ricky wrote, “…head-to-head win has to overcome minor deficiencies in other criteria.”

    I 100% agree!

    But, we saw last year when CC and SU tied with 3 criteria each that the fact SU beat CC 3 times with no losses did not impact the final decision at all. The fact CC beat Trinity where SU did not (the only difference in common opponents) was considered equal to SU’s three wins over CC.

    I’m fine if the NCAA wants to use a formula but head-to-head needs to have more weight than the other criteria.


    October 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm

  9. Thank you for all the feedback. This is fairly new to me. I can see that conference standings have little influence on the regional rankings. But looking ahead, should Augsburg lose at Bethel on Saturday and miss the MIAC play-offs would that derail any chances for selection. I guess I see many more worthy candidates for the C pool in the Midwest region compared to the Central.


    October 29, 2015 at 2:58 pm

  10. I think you are correct that a team missing a six-team playoff is probably on the wrong side of the bubble.

    Ricky Nelson

    October 29, 2015 at 3:13 pm

  11. A) I’m sure the conference reps on each regional committee know the conference rankings but that isn’t information that is in the database anywhere and it’s likely the selection committee won’t ever discuss conference standings. FWIW, some conferences are playing 6-8 matches in conference vs 25 non-conference and those matches count too.
    B) The end goal is the top 20 Pool C teams. If a region gets all of it’s ranked teams in and has unranked teams who are worthy of getting in, they will be considered, though they are ranking more teams now and I suppose this is part of the reason why. Also, the idea that travel costs are leading the Pool C decisions is a device of those who cannot admit their team wasn’t good enough. Travel costs may dictate regional assignments and match-ups but not who gets invited.


    October 30, 2015 at 12:23 am

  12. With respect to travel costs not playing a role in selection, I would 100% disagree. The NCAA does everything it can to restrict flying teams to regionals. I would say this impacts only the south and west regions but look no further than the west region last year for an example. The NCAA will never state it’s a reason but the alternative is that the selection committee is incompetent, which they are not.


    October 30, 2015 at 8:52 am

  13. I can’t speculate where Augsburg ends up in the next rankings, but they certainly do not pass the eye test. There should not be any formula that would keep them ahead of Bethel, who has been playing extremely well. However, my best guess would be that Bethel will still have to beat St. Ben’s in the MIAC semi’s in order to be considered for the C pool.


    November 1, 2015 at 12:37 am

  14. My hunch is that Augsburg still compares favorably with others in the Central Region and teams from around the country.
    I’m very curious to see how the Central RAC positions the Auggies this week. I don’t think Augsburg will be the so-called “blocker” in the region that many would assume. I admit I assumed AC would be a blocker if it stayed in the top five or so. Not any longer.

    Ricky Nelson

    November 1, 2015 at 2:48 am

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