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

My take on the first regional rankings of 2017 [UPDATED]

This is how I think the first regional rankings of 2017 should look in the Central and Midwest regions. We’ll see on Wednesday what the committees decide.

After stripping away the brand names from the resumes, the results were a bit surprising to me. There are many ways to approach these rankings, so I’m interested to see what the committees value most this season.

For abridged primers on the regional rankings and the selection process, peruse the FAQ page.

My Central Region Week 1 Rankings
1. Northwestern
2. Gustavus Adolphus
3. St. Thomas
4. Washington-St. Louis
5. Wartburg
6. Augsburg
7. Saint Benedict
8. Bethel
My next 3 (in no particular order): Dubuque; Minnesota Morris; St. Olaf.

My Midwest Region Week 1 Rankings
1. Wisconsin-Whitewater
2. Chicago
3. Aurora
4. Millikin
5. Illinois Wesleyan
6. Cornell
7. Concordia Wisconsin
8. Wisconsin-Stevens Point
My next 3 (in no particular order): Wisconsin-La Crosse; Carthage; Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

[UPDATE] Decided to add PDF’s of my 2017 working documents that I compile. My team-name shorthand isn’t difficult to decipher, but that skill is necessary to make heads or tails of why I ranked the teams thusly.

Central PDF
Midwest PDF

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

October 16, 2017 at 1:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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  1. I’ve got the West Region Rankings posted on my site for those that are interested.


    October 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm

  2. Ricky – Give me your general thoughts on the Central. Once you get past Gustavus Adolphus, it’s a bit of a struggle for me and then a drop-off after Wash-St. Louis. Bottom line you’ve got teams not ranked in the Midwest that are better than the bottom half of the ranked Central teams.

    Neutral gym between St. Thomas and Wash-St. Louis, who wins? Just your feeling.

    Your feelings on the WIAC this year? How many have a chance at a Pool C bid, do you think?


    October 16, 2017 at 2:24 pm

  3. rbrochelle,
    I think the Midwest is deeper than the Central this year, but the upper crusts in both the Central and Midwest are similar. Then again the MIAC’s second tier has shown to be capable of beating very good teams. It’s the losses by those second-tier MIAC teams that are more surprising.

    I’ve had great seats for both St. Thomas and Washington-St. Louis this season. I’ve also seen an additional handful of matches featuring both online. The teams I saw in person would result in a UST win in either three of four sets. But since UST’s libero suffered an injury, the Toms have understandably not quite been the same. The UST team I saw in person was dynamic enough to win a regional. Now? I’m not so sure.

    The WUSTL squad I saw in person isn’t the same as it has been since. WUSTL was iffy in stretches last year too, but the Bears turned out OK in the end.

    Who wins between UST and WUSTL now? Flip a coin.

    I’ve seen all but two WIAC teams in person so far this year. The WIAC has some amazing players this season but few complete teams. For Pool C, I’m not counting out Whitewater, Stevens Point, La Crosse or Eau Claire. A couple of others can beat just about anybody, but that isn’t in the primary or secondary criteria.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    October 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

  4. I am going to do a round by round guesstimate using the ranking web sites I know about as a guide and then work in head to head and ranked opponents as much as I can.

    Here are composite rankings of your Central and Midwest picks using a total ranking score summing HeroSports, HuskerGeek, and Pablo. If there are any other good sites I should include let me know.

    (Ricky Rank, Composite Rank) School Composite Score

    Central Region
    (2,1) Gustavos Adolphus 9
    (1, 2) northwestern 49
    (3, 3) St, Thomas 59
    (4, 4) Wash U 61
    (5, 5) Wartburg 74
    (6, 6) Augsburg 130
    (NR, 7) Minn-Morris 134
    (8, 8) Bethel 137
    (NR, 9) Dubuque 155
    (7, 9) St. Benedict 158
    (NR, 11) St. Olaf 219

    Midwest Region
    (4, t1) Millikin 33
    (5, t1) Illinois Wesleyan 33
    (2, 3) Chicago 41
    (3, 4) Aurora 61
    (8, t5) Wisc-Stevens Point 72
    ((NR, t5) Wisc-La Crosse 72
    (1, 7) Wisc-Whitewater 79
    (7, 8) Concordia Wisc 102
    (NR, 9) Wisc-Eau Claire 102
    (6, 10) Cornell 111
    (NR, 12) Carthage 130


    October 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm

  5. NED3VBallFan,
    Thank you for that. I’d never heard of Husker. I’ll look into that one. The other two? I respect one’s rankings much more than the other.

    Based solely on stated criteria, I like my order better. Cases could be made for slightly different orders, but I question the methodology when head-to-head results take a back seat to math wizardry (I appreciate math wizardry). I mean, why play matches if not to document how Team A fared against Team B and then make direct inferences?

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    October 16, 2017 at 6:45 pm

  6. NED3VballFan,
    Out of interest, which team is No. 11 in the Midwest?
    Also, if your aggregated rankings above — thank you again for sharing them — are the same as the NCAA’s on Wednesday, then I am going to have to do a lot more typing than I want. Fingers crossed.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    October 16, 2017 at 6:58 pm

  7. What about your #1s in each Region?


    October 16, 2017 at 9:01 pm

  8. D3nut,
    Carnegie Mellon
    Johnson & Wales

    How about you?
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    October 16, 2017 at 9:20 pm

  9. Typo on Carthage they are 11th in Midwest. Next Midwest team is Oshkosh at 180. In the Central Luther is at 170 ahead of St. Olaf.


    October 17, 2017 at 1:14 am

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