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

2016 AVCA Week 1 Poll: Millikin enters top 25

Cal Lutheran and Juniata remained the top two teams in the AVCA Week 1 poll. Defending champion Cal Lutheran received 47 of 49 first-place votes while Juniata picked up one top vote.

Rounding out the Week 1 top five teams are Calvin third, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps fourth and Colorado College fifth. CMS received the remaining first-place vote.

Central and Midwest region teams in the Week 1 poll: No. 10 Washington-St. Louis; No. 12 Bethel; No. 13 Carthage; No. 15 UW-Stevens Point; No. 17 Elmhurst; No. 18 Northwestern; No. 20 UW-Whitewater; No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan; No. 22 Millikin.

Central and Midwest region teams receiving votes this week: UW-La Crosse; Gustavus; UW-Oshkosh; Saint Benedict; Wartburg; Chicago; UW-Eau Claire.

My top 10 included UW-La Crosse, but the AVCA was fairly responsive to the results in Week 1.

-Ricky Nelson


Written by Ricky Nelson

September 5, 2016 at 8:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. How is Hendrix still ranked in the top 25? I understand Hendrix lost to some top teams but a 1-3 record is still a 1-3 record. Meanwhile, UW LaCrosse at 4-0, having beaten #17 Elmhurst remains outside looking in. SMDH.


    September 6, 2016 at 3:40 pm

  2. Great question, Someone! When I said the poll was responsive, it was meant in relative terms. The recent past has not been good in terms of polls reflecting results. This year’s first poll was actually an improvement from recent years.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    September 6, 2016 at 9:49 pm

  3. Hendrix is a bit of a head-turner. Final 4 finish and I thought they weren’t losing anyone (for the most part) other than their coach. They seemed a strong pick to repeat their success. Losses to CMS and Cal Lu aren’t a big surprise (maybe the 2 best schools in the nation) but a sweep by La Verne? La Verne was strong last year but had a big turnover this season. I guess we’ll see this weekend as they play 4 teams they should beat.

    To Ricky’s point, the poll is typically slow to drop or rise teams but there was more of that with this first poll. Still, looking through the ballots can still generate a laugh or two. Thanh Pham was a gut buster this week.


    September 7, 2016 at 10:48 am

  4. I am totally new at all this but I looked through some of the coaches ballots and thought the same thing when I saw Phams choices. One thing I find funny in all of this is how some teams are ranked highly based on last years tournament alone when it is obvious some pools were totally stacked (West region) and some were devoid of real contenders (Northeast) but some team would get a pass to the round of eight and hence end up with a great ranking. I also find it is strange how some teams get a great ranking and and rise up even though they didn’t play anyone tough but because someone else above them lost to a ranked team.


    September 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

  5. You have a special place in my heart if you are going to jump on this blog and start praising the west. Go West!

    There are a number of posts from previous years where we all harp on the coach ballots. The bottom line is that doing the rankings just isn’t at the top of the priority list (nor should it). Those that do spend some time on it might also make sure to rank a little higher teams from their region or teams they will play as it could help them out if they take some wins off those teams.

    In the end, this poll is just for fun and it’s the regional rankings that matter. That’s when the real angst begins!

    You say you are new to all of this. Well, welcome! You’ve found the best source of DIII information in the nation IMHO.


    September 8, 2016 at 4:08 pm

  6. I agree on most counts with the tempered criticism toward the polls each week, each season.

    When the verifiable truths get overlooked, I roll my eyes.

    Do I wish some of the 49 coaches had/took more time to do a thoughtful review of the teams each week? Of course. Does it matter? Roughly 81.3 percent “No, it does not.” However, I do see the other 18.7-percent side of things too.

    What we need is more unsolicited praise for this blog! [smirking face emoji] [hashtag something-irreverently-witty]

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    September 8, 2016 at 5:02 pm

  7. I finally had time to peruse the ballots. It’s not something I’ll make a habit of, but I’d like to single out Mary Johnston (Franklin), Mark Massey (Puget Sound), Brian Schaefer (UW-Oshkosh), Becky Schmidt (Hope) and Rick Swan (Colorado College) for submitting particularly thoughtful ballots. Agree or disagree with their votes, but I thought there was a logical flow to those ballots.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    September 8, 2016 at 5:53 pm

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