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

Ricky Nelson’s 2017 Week 3 top 10

The AVCA poll comes out Tuesday.

My rank, (My Week 2 rank, AVCA Week 2 rank), record, key results last week
1 (2,3). Wittenberg 9-0 W: Washington-St. Louis; Ohio Northern.
2 (10,5). Colorado College 11-0 W: Calvin; Hope; Elmhurst.
3 (6,2). Southwestern 12-0 W: Wisconsin-Whitewater. 
4 (3,4). Emory 8-1 W: Juniata; Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
5 (5,9). Millikin 8-1 [None].
6 (7,14). Gustavus Adolphus 12-1 W: Chicago.
7 (1,1). Calvin 8-3 L: Colorado College; Illinois Wesleyan; Aurora.
8 (8,7). Trinity (Texas) 10-2 W: Wisconsin-Whitewater.
9 (9,8). Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 8-4 W: Juniata. L: Emory; Lee.
10 (NR,10). Northwestern 9-3 W: Wartburg.
Dropped Out: No. 4 St. Thomas (11-2).

The Standout Stats page is updated as much as possible through the weekend.
The Last Team Standing page makes its season debut with a baker’s dozen on the initial list of contenders.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

September 17, 2017 at 12:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

10 Responses

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  1. Your rankings are always thoughtful and interesting, and it’s too early to draw hard conclusions. Emory defeats CMS (AVCA #8, Pablo #2) 3-1 and Juniata (AVCA #6, Pablo #14) in straight sets, yet moves down from #3 to #4?? Emory also is the only team to take current #1 Wittenberg to 5 sets. Colorado College had a super weekend, but I question whether they or Southwestern have the resumes to jump Emory.

    The Elmhurst tourney looks a little like an aberration. I can understand Calvin getting upset, but in all three matches? Must be something peculiar going on. I was at the Elmhurst tourney three years ago, and it is a difficult place to play if the temperature in Chicagoland is high – no A/C and poor ventilation. While all teams play under the same conditions, poor conditions can favor underdogs.

    Your coverage of DIII this season is your best yet – all us DIII fans appreciate it!!


    September 17, 2017 at 3:14 pm

  2. Robert,
    My reply regarding Emory — and similar situations — is results don’t happen in a vacuum. It’s not a reflection on Emory that it moved down one spot in my eyes. Your broader point that Emory, despite a loss, could have a better resume than either Colorado College or Southwestern is well taken. You may be correct. It’s one of the many data points that voters will have to reckon with. My opinion is that there’s no wrong answer to how you order EU, CC and SU.

    I have not provided commentary on the AVCA poll, but Johns Hopkins is being underappreciated for its start. JHU would be in my top 25 comfortably. Also, if I had a top 11 this week, Wisconsin-Stevens Point would be my next team.

    While there are many AVCA voters who take the task seriously, there are several whose ballots show a clear indifference to the process. The polls may not matter in terms of the NCAA postseason, but they certainly get used in recruiting and other promotional materials. It’s frustrating to see some voters’ nonchalance.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    September 17, 2017 at 4:15 pm

  3. I was at the Elmhurst tourney and robert your assertion that weather conditions can favor underdogs is absurd. It was hot and as usual there was no a/c, those conditions applied to all teams. in 3 matches, calvin only won 1 set, perhaps they ran into some tough competition and they had a rough weekend and chalk it up to that.


    September 17, 2017 at 4:53 pm

  4. Just speculating, Anonymous. I haven’t seen Calvin lose 3 straight in recent years, maybe never, let alone in the same tournament. Stats looked like all their guns were playing – just unusual. Absurd? Perhaps you don’t remember the old Boston Garden that was not air conditioned. When NBA playoffs went into June, and outdoor temperatures rose, it was well recognized that favored teams like the Magic/Kareem Lakers were disadvantaged due to the extreme temperature inside the arena – think cramps, etc. Depends a lot on what the athletes are used to in day-to-day training. The one way the question can be answered and the problem solved is for Elmhurst to spring for A/C – seems like a no brainer unless they see an advantage for themselves by not doing it :).


    September 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm

  5. Hey, Ricky, I agree that it’s way too early to see much of a difference between strong teams like Colorado College, Southwestern and Emory – upcoming matches will sort it out. I totally agree with you on Johns Hopkins and particularly, MIT. But, that too will sort itself out soon enough. Haven’t seen Stevens Point for a couple years, but they maintain a strong program. I review the AVCA coaches ballots from time-to-time and there are some disappointing contributions – seems like all should at least cast their vote every week. I suspect it’s been that way for a long time and that creates its own measure of consistency. Hopefully, serious analysts, like you, will raise the bar for DIII.


    September 17, 2017 at 6:34 pm

  6. yes Robert it was certainly an advantage for Elmhurst as they went 0-3 at their own tournament.


    September 17, 2017 at 9:40 pm

  7. As far as the playing conditions are concerned, teams that played in Oshkosh this past week could also attest to the unpleasant warmth. I was sweating buckets without moving much.

    In Illinois this weekend a couple of matches were called off due to wet court conditions. I did not hear whether the conditions were a result of the warm weather or a general facility failure, but I’m sure it was like a sauna in gyms around the upper Midwest this past week.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    September 17, 2017 at 9:48 pm

  8. Great comments as should be expected when the unanimous #1 team in the nation drops three straight matches.

    In my wrap-up yesterday I researched the last time that happened to Calvin and it was in 2005. Amazing program!

    My west rankings are out and I have Colorado College ahead of SU based on their strong weekend of play. With respect to Wittenberg and Emory, if I did a national ranking I would have them in the first two spots. Just a couple more cents to add to the mix.


    September 18, 2017 at 11:54 am

  9. Thank you for the Calvin research!!


    September 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm

  10. […] My Week 3 top 10 had Northwestern instead of Juniata. […]

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