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 Pre-Championship Manual is online

Rejoice, fellow nerds, for the 2016 NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Pre-Championship Manual has been published.

The pertinent information:
• 43 Pool A, one Pool B, 20 Pool C bids
• Regional rankings published on Oct. 19, Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 6 (Selection Day)
• Online selection show on Nov. 7 at 11:30 a.m. central
• Regionals Nov. 10-12 and Nov. 11-13
• Finals Nov. 17-19 in Oshkosh

The national committee is comprised of chair Ellen Dempsey (AD at Hiram) along with Beth Wilmeth (HC at Northwestern), Matt Schoultz (HC at Lawrence), Moira Long (HC at Springfield), Ed Garza (HC at Austin), Becky Hall (AD at Oglethorpe), Don Perkins (HC at Kean) and Marie Stroman (assoc. ED at Middle Atlantic Conference).

The Pool B bid will (perhaps) go to one of these teams: Trinity (D.C.); Valley Forge; Finlandia; Mount Mary; Maranatha Baptist; Pine Manor; New Rochelle; SUNY Canton; Rust; Mills; UC Santa Cruz.

Maranatha Baptist, SUNY Canton and Valley Forge have traditionally declared for the NCCAA Championship and list NCCAA regionals and finals on their sites again this season. If that’s the case, we’ll see whether UC Santa Cruz can finish above .500 this season.

However there is this caveat written in the Manual:

(Note: The number of berths for Pools B and C may be adjusted based on sponsorship numbers at the time of selections.)

Bear with me here … According to my math, the access ratio for this year’s season is 416 full-member teams in AQ leagues ÷ 43 AQ leagues = 9.674, which gets truncated to 9. With 11 Pool B teams listed in the Manual, there certainly appears to be enough teams for a Pool B bid. But if three declare NCCAA – and I’ve never understood why Rust is eligible for the D III postseason even if it gets a scheduling waiver – it could be a photo finish whether there will be a Pool B berth or 21 Pool C’s. If three declare NCCAA, my math says there should be 21 Pool C berths.

The FAQ page has been updated.

-Ricky Nelson


Written by Ricky Nelson

September 29, 2016 at 11:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. Just when I think Santa Cruz won’t be an issue in the west region selections…ugh.

    Quick look at the independents:

    Trinity 1-9
    *Valley Forge 4-7
    Finlandia 4-13
    Mount Mary 2-8
    *M. Baptist 10-4
    Pine Manor 2-11
    New Rochelle 5-8
    *SUNY Canton 8-8
    Rust 0-4 (Will play 12 total matches this year!)
    Mills 0-10
    Santa Cruz 6-9

    * NCCAA Probables

    So, let’s say the NCAA selection committee determines that conditions are in place to allow for a Pool B selection. But every eligible team has a poor record (for the sake of argument). Does the Pool B still get awarded? Is it basically treated as an AQ for those 11 teams? If so, do you think the entire national committee determines the team?

    If it plays out like I fear it will then the Pool B has to be selected prior to Pool C because it impacts whatever region the team comes out of. If it’s a west region team, due to travel problems caused by the vast area covered by the west, then it can really impact the last Pool C selection (although it shouldn’t) and the host site.


    September 30, 2016 at 8:53 am

  2. Ricky – When did the NCAA move away from the 6 primary criteria (Section 2.4) and move win/loss percentage in last 25% of games to secondary criteria?

    Manual says criteria “not listed in priority order” implies there is a priority order. As you know, a couple of years back I learned that the criteria was considered equally (at least that year when comparing two specific teams). Head-to-head wins was not held up as a higher priority and secondary criteria was used for the final selection. I would LOVE to know the priority (if one truly exists).

    Is this line new, “Additionally, input is provided by regional advisory committees for consideration by the Division III Women’s Volleyball Committee.”? I don’t remember it (and the link to last years manual doesn’t work). Suggestion – save off the manual and link to that in your FAQ page. :-) In summary, this goes to the art versus science argument of selection. We will use all of the above criteria (science) and then we’ll throw some other things (art) into the mix, as well. Not saying it’s wrong…just curious if that statement has always been there.


    September 30, 2016 at 10:22 am

  3. OK. Last one. Maybe.

    I’ve decided “Geographic proximity” will be my next band name. It is listed quite often in the “Pairings” section (7 sentences total and that term is used in 6 of them).

    (I wrote a bunch more on this but it bored even me so I deleted it.) Your welcome.


    September 30, 2016 at 10:50 am

  4. I lied.

    Ricky – Link to the 2015 manual was working again. 2014 manual still not working.

    To answer my own questions – W/L % over last 25% games was a primary criteria last year (so 5 primary criteria is new for this year). And “additional input” was in last year’s manual.


    September 30, 2016 at 12:27 pm

  5. I’ve always treated Pool B as Pool A, in my head. All Pool B teams are essentially competing directly against each other in a loose conference.

    If a Pool B team is required based on a math equation, my assumption is that the committee needs to hold their noses, scrunch their eyes and pick the most qualified of the potentially under-qualified. The NCAA has been known to appreciate rules and protocols. The access ratio in Division III has those virtues in spades.

    In my summer reading, I remember a proposal that could potentially bind NCAA Division III teams to appear at a given championship if selected to participate. That idea is discussed in #7 of the following link. I think #8 is of interest as well.


    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    September 30, 2016 at 1:27 pm

  6. Interesting.

    Based on the records, Maranatha Baptist could be considered the Pool B leader and be listed first in any sort of a Pool B ranking. NCAA selects the Sabercats and they decline in order to go to the NCCAA.

    NCAA then does:
    1) Allocate bid to Pool C?
    2) Go down the ranking’s list and choose a team that is willing to go to the DIII Tournament?

    “The NCAA has been known to appreciate rules and protocols.” – Yes, when it serves them.


    September 30, 2016 at 3:02 pm

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