DIII Women's Volleyball

A source for NCAA Division III women's volleyball info and opinion, with a focus on the Midwest and Central regions

Ricky Nelson’s 2017 preseason top 25

For your scrutinizing pleasure, here is my preseason top 25 followed by another 15 teams that should garner votes in AVCA’s preseason poll, which typically debuts in mid-August.

1. Calvin
2. Wittenberg
3. Northwestern
4. Emory
5. Washington (Mo.)
6. Gustavus Adolphus
7. Chicago
8. Illinois Wesleyan
9. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
10. Trinity (Texas)
11. Wisconsin-Whitewater
12. Hope
13. Millikin
14. Cal Lutheran
15. Colorado College
16. Texas Dallas
17. Randolph-Macon
18. Ithaca
19. Wisconsin-Eau Claire
20. Mary Washington
21. Wisconsin-La Crosse
22. Augsburg
23. Southwestern
24. Wisconsin-Oshkosh
25. Luther
The next 15: Birmingham-Southern; Carthage; Christopher Newport; Eastern; Hendrix; Johns Hopkins; Johnson & Wales; Juniata; Ohio Northern; St. Thomas; Stevens; Stevenson; Swarthmore; Tufts; Wartburg.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

July 17, 2017 at 11:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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  1. Went back in time to see how you’ve done the past two years. Pretty consistent. (See below)

    Bonus Question – Past two years you’ve whiffed on 5 teams (no mention but appeared in the final Top 25) each year…so name the 5 teams you didn’t mention in 2017 that will appear in the final Top 25. Kind of joking, but are there teams that you left off that might surprise you?

    Looking at the South and West – Maybe Berry is able to replace their outstanding MB? Maybe either Pac Lu or Whitworth get a great recruiting class and dominate the NW and sneak in the Top 25. Never count out La Verne and maybe Chapman steps up this year.

    Ricky’s 2016 Report Card

    * Named 17 teams on the final Top 25.
    * Including “the next 15”, Ricky got 20 out of 25.
    * Named 9 of the top 10 (Mary Washington surprised you).
    * Mary Washington, Trinity, Tufts, Wis. – La Crosse and La Verne were teams that made the Top 25 but received no love from Ricky.
    * Chris Newport was your highest ranked team not to appear in the Top 25 (ranked 3rd).

    Ricky’s 2015 Report Card

    * Named 16 teams on the final Top 25.
    * Including “the very solid 10”, Ricky got 20 out of 25.
    * Named 10 of the top 10.
    * UTD, Elmhurst, Illinois Wesleyan, Northwestern and Birmingham Southern were teams that made the Top 25 but received no love from Ricky.
    * DePauw was your highest ranked team not to appear in the Top 25 (ranked 14).


    July 18, 2017 at 8:58 am

  2. DIIIFan,
    The summary seems to be that I correctly spell the easy teams.

    My prognostication effort grade is high. Then “facts” get in the way. The iffy defense is that I sometimes disagree with the established polls. Not sure if that defense helps validate my effort in these cases. My memory isn’t great.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    July 18, 2017 at 5:22 pm

  3. I’m liking all the CCIW love. How do you think Elmhurst will look this year?


    July 24, 2017 at 2:34 pm

  4. Anon,
    I’m curious to see what Elmhurst does this year. It’s Elmhurst, so it could be more of a reload than rebuild. But the CCIW should be stacked this year.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    July 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm

  5. Elmhurst does attract good recruits, but they did have some big losses between Nimrick, Nava and their 6 rotation middle. How do you think Carthage is looking?


    July 24, 2017 at 8:14 pm

  6. Anon,
    I think Carthage can challenge MU and IWU for the title. What do you think?

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    July 24, 2017 at 8:45 pm

  7. I think Carthage will definitely be competitive this year. After their stellar 2015 season they had a bit of a rough 2016. While they had a lot of talent, they were very up and down and failed to find a consistent line-up. I think with a year of maturing under their belts they will be competitive. They have a solid core of seniors and a lot of talented sophomores. If they can play like they did on their “good days” with consistency, they can beat any team.

    IWU will be really solid. I heard they got a transfer middle from UW Milwaukee, which will only increase the depth of their hitters. As you’ve mentioned before, their pins are excellent. However they really struggled with some ball control this past year and struggled to find a consistent libero. It will be interesting to see what they do in that department this year.

    MU is always a contender and they return a lot of key players. However, I think losing their libero will be a big loss. She dominated the back court and picked up anything hit in her direction. I also know they lost some height, as they lost a solid middle to graduation and their big 6’3″ sophomore right side is no longer on the team.

    Do you have any thoughts on Wheaton? They always seem to be a sleeper program. They had some talented freshman last year, but I think the loss of Shelby Knowles will really sting. It will be interesting to see what dynamic their new coach brings to the table. I’m also curious to see what Augustana does after graduating 6 seniors last year.


    July 24, 2017 at 10:28 pm

  8. Anon,
    Thank you. Wheaton is always a mysterious wildcard to me. My thinking on the Thunder is similar to yours. I’m skeptical post-Knowles. Time will tell.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    July 24, 2017 at 10:46 pm

  9. […] My top 10 had Wittenberg, Gustavus Adolphus, Chicago, Illinois Wesleyan and Trinity (Texas) instead of Southwestern, Cal Lutheran, Colorado College, Mary Washington and Texas Dallas. […]

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