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

Final public regional rankings of 2015 released

The final public regional rankings of the season have been published.

The national committee creates another set of regional rankings after all conference tournaments have concluded. However, those final rankings, which form the basis for seeding and at-large selections, will not be released.

Commentary, if any, will follow later this evening. First blush says the Midwest is less than perfect. In the meantime, can anyone tell me why the Midwest Region rankings are correct?

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

Midwest Region (Week 1, 2 ranks)
1 (1,1). UW-Whitewater
2 (2,2). Carthage
3 (5,3). Illinois Wesleyan
4 (4,4). UW-Eau Claire
5 (6,5). UW-Stevens Point
6 (7,6). Elmhurst
7 (8,7). Chicago
8 (NR,NR). Dominican
UW-Oshkosh was No. 3 in Week 1 and No. 8 in Week 2.

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

-Ricky Nelson


Written by Ricky Nelson

November 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

11 Responses

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  1. Midwest – So, the top two seeds in the WIAC are not ranked. Three teams sitting behind them in the standings are and the committee knew that at least one of those three would not even make it to the semi-finals in their tournament. Seems right.

    I was looking at the regions today with an eye towards selection and I can make a case for 13 teams from the Midwest (including automatic qualifiers). Appears that the South Region might only have 5 teams worthy of selection (maybe 6). Figure they will head up north again this year to offer relief to your region.


    November 5, 2015 at 1:42 pm

  2. My take on the Midwest Rankings:

    Whitewater and Carthage are your top 2 teams. They excel across all criteria. The only blemish are Whitewater’s losses to Oshkosh and La Crosse.

    Illinois Wesleyan is ranked too high. I would have Eau-Claire, Stevens Point and Oshkosh ahead of them. Take Oshkosh out of the equation for a second and I just don’t see how IW is ranked 3rd. This is a mistake.

    Now for Oshkosh their problem are the losses to Elmhurst, Chicago and Dominican. The RAC has those three teams blocking them. I guess I can see that but then you give no credit to Oshkosh for their wins over Whitewater, IW and Eau-Claire. The West RAC has done the same thing to Cal Lu by blocking them with CMS, in my opinion.

    Chicago is another team ranked too high in this RAC. Why are they ahead of Dominican and La Crosse? I don’t see it through the criteria. Heck, they lost to Dominican. I think they are given credit for their wins over Eau-Claire and Stevens Point. Why give them credit and not Oshkosh for beating a better team in Whitewater?

    So, in summary, I kind of see the problem in this RAC but there is a mix of not following the criteria in with random respect for wins. In the end, the region is hurting itself by putting IW and Chicago so high as they have some important losses to ranked teams in other regions. I’m sure this shouldn’t matter but it would if I was on the RAC. You don’t want teams to block other teams when it comes to selection time and choosing between teams across regions.

    Anyway, for what it’s worth (which is nothing):

    1. Whitewater
    2. Carthage
    3. Eau-Claire
    4. Stevens Point
    5. Oshkosh
    6. La Crosse
    7. Illinois Wesleyan
    8. Elmhurst

    Dominican and Chicago would be next. Problem here is that Dominican really needs to be ranked, too. Teams 3 through 6 could be swapped around with no issues on my part (I mean just respect the conference standings).

    In the end, the Midwest is going to send more teams to the tournament then any other region. Just got to avoid those conference tourney upsets!


    November 5, 2015 at 3:04 pm

  3. That’s a good summary above. Thank you! It saves me keystrokes.

    I don’t know how to interpret these rankings. Most times I can say, “Oh, OK. I disagree, but I see that the committee is valuing criterion X over Y [or what-have-you]. So be it.”

    I’m not getting a good read this time. And that could be my fault entirely. I’m not smart, but I can usually suss out NCAA minutia.

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2015 at 5:04 pm

  4. DIIIFan. No doubt some south teams will make their way north to “offer relief” as you so eloquently put it. Unfortunately, “relief” would not be the result if–like last year–Emory and Wash U end up in the same Regional, depriving fans of the presence of one of those teams in Grand Rapids. That kind of relief can be shipped east (in Emory’s case) or north (in WUSTLs case) without too much of a budget hit, I would hope.


    November 5, 2015 at 5:58 pm

  5. FWIW, conference standings and even regular season titles are NOT a part of the rankings criteria, except to the extent that those team have those wins they collected in conference. But when you have teams playing 8-10 conference matches and 35-40 matches overall the conference results are easily outweighed by the rest of the schedules.


    November 6, 2015 at 8:43 am

  6. Hey Mike, by “relief” I meant that the South probably will not fill their 8 spots with NCAA quality teams. I can see the Midwest getting those spots. No intent to degrade the South teams that do make the NCAA. Just that the region is not as deep as others and they have fewer automatic qualifiers. (I’m assuming Santa Cruz wins the GSAC and gets placed in the West.)

    I would love for the NCAA to rank the top 16 teams and put 2 in each region. Not going to happen at DIII. I also agree placing an Emory (for instance) in the NE or NY region would be more fair then pairing them with Wash-St. Louis.

    Having said all of that, when I look across the regions at how deep they are, the Midwest is just crazy deep. You could almost fill out two regions. I don’t see that same level of depth in the Central, Great Lakes or Mid-Atlantic. Just seems like a natural to mix the excess Midwest with the South. As always, upsets in the conference tournaments will mess things up.


    November 6, 2015 at 8:50 am

  7. All along I have been concerned about the depth of the Midwest compared to the Central and have tried speculating the number of teams the Central will advance. Bethel has been playing very well down the stretch. I believe they should move ahead of St. Ben’s in the non public rankings to number 4. Should be a great match tomorrow night at Gustavus. Hopefully they won’t have to leave it in the hands of the committee.


    November 6, 2015 at 9:26 am

  8. any speculation as to who may host regional sites based on these rankings?


    November 6, 2015 at 10:01 am

  9. MIAC – The one thing going for the Central is the lack of automatic qualifiers. I count 4 if seeding holds in these tournaments. That leaves 4 at-large spots. Looking at these last regional rankings that would be good news for Wash-St. Louis, St. Ben, Bethel and Augsburg. And that was before Bethel’s victory over St. Ben. Could the committee use a Central spot for the Midwest…sure. Bethel is hurt by their record against ranked opponents and their losses to Elmhurst, La Crosse and Chicago. At least one of those teams if not two will be outside of the top 8 regional ranked in the Midwest.

    Before last year, I would say Bethel is a lock to make the tournament regardless of result against Gustavus. But the parallels between Bethel and Southwestern (from last year) are strong. Hope for Wartburg to beat Loras tomorrow. That should lock it up for your girls.


    November 6, 2015 at 10:25 am

  10. Without knowing which schools submitted bids, it’s hard to predict regional hosts. When adding the fact that I don’t know which teams are in, it’s even more difficult to gauge.

    However, if bids were submitted, WUSTL and UWW are looking like decent bets. The next question would be whether another Central or, likelier, another Midwest school would also host. That’s a question for Sunday, when we have a firmer grip on a projected field.


    Ricky Nelson

    November 6, 2015 at 2:33 pm

  11. A few people provided decent reasoning regarding the Midwest rankings. They offered takes I considered, but at what point do beating highly ranked teams and HTH results overcome other criteria deficiencies? It’s a similar question every year.

    Ricky Nelson

    November 7, 2015 at 2:06 am

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