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 projected field of 64

This is what I think the field should be when it is revealed via an online selection show at 11:30 a.m. central tomorrow.

The committee and I have never synced up completely with our selections, so don’t fret, bubble teams. If you don’t see your name below, chances are you’ll be playing next week anyway.

My yearly at-large matches with the national selection committee:
2016: 16 of 21
2015: 16 of 20
2014: 18 of 20
2013: 16 of 21
2012: 19 of 22
2011: 19 of 22
2010: 19 of 21
2009: 19 of 22
2008: 20 of 23

Pool A (43)
Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference: Penn State Behrend
American Southwest Conference: Texas Dallas
Capital Athletic Conference: Christopher Newport
Centennial Conference: Johns Hopkins
City University of New York Athletic Conference: Hunter
College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin: Carthage
Colonial States Athletic Conference: Cabrini
Commonwealth Coast Conference: Endicott
Commonwealth Conference: Stevenson
Empire 8 Athletic Conference: Stevens
Freedom Conference: Eastern
Great Northeast Athletic Conference: Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference: Hanover
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: Wartburg
Landmark Conference: Juniata
Liberty League: Clarkson
Little East Conference: UMass Boston
Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference: Worcester State
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association: Calvin
Midwest Conference: Cornell
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: Saint Benedict
New England Collegiate Conference: Elms
New England Small College Athletic Conference: Wesleyan
New England Women’s and Men’s Athletics Conference: MIT
New Jersey Athletic Conference: Kean
North Atlantic Conference: Maine Maritime
North Coast Athletic Conference: Wittenberg
North Eastern Athletic Conference: Morrisville State
Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference: Concordia Wisconsin
Northwest Conference: Pacific Lutheran
Ohio Athletic Conference: Otterbein
Old Dominion Athletic Conference: Randolph-Macon
Presidents’ Athletic Conference: Thomas More
Skyline Conference: Merchant Marine
Southern Athletic Association: Berry
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference: Colorado College
St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: Greenville
State University of New York Athletic Conference: Brockport
University Athletic Association: Washington-St. Louis
Upper Midwest Conference: Northwestern
USA South Athletic Conference: Covenant
Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: Wisconsin-La Crosse

Pool B (1)
New Rochelle

Pool C (20)
Carnegie Mellon
Gustavus Adolphus
Illinois Wesleyan
La Verne Wellesley
Mary Hardin-Baylor Vassar
Mount Union Ithaca
Ohio Northern
St. Thomas
Trinity (Texas)
Wisconsin-Eau Claire Swarthmore
Wisconsin-Whitewater Babson

Last five in: Mount Union; Mary Hardin-Baylor; DePauw; La Verne; Birmingham-Southern.
At the table when last bid was projected: St. Olaf; Muskingum; Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Swarthmore; Wellesley; Vassar; Cal Lutheran.

My field of teams will cost money, but I think it’s the correct field. I’ll return to defend and/or chat about my preferred list of 64 teams in an hour or so.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

November 5, 2017 at 3:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

55 Responses

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  1. […] official shot at predicting the NCAA Tournament Field. I would highly recommend to head over to Ricky Nelson’s site because he’s list will be better than mine. No pressure, […]

  2. OK – I’ve got mine posted, too. If anyone wants to compare, just click my name and it will shoot you over to my site. Careful, if you double-click it then it goes to some Russian bride thing. (Geez, marry one Russian mail-order bride and Google never forgets.)

    Looks like we only had one difference. Scary.


    November 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm

  3. I see where you got most of your Pool C from the rankings by the AVCA as most of the teams you selected had received votes or were ranked except Birmingham-Southern and Whittier. However your selection of Whittier and/or La Verne over Cal Lutheran would be mistaken as Cal Lutheran defeated La Verne in the semi-finals of the SCIAC tournament and defeated Whittier twice during the season. Further neither Whittier nor Laverne should be in the tournament over the University of Scranton who beat both of them earlier in the season and was receiving votes in the AVCA poll and was 35-5. Further either DePauw or Mount Union do not deserve to be in the tournament over Ithaca who defeated Carnegie Mellon not do they deserve to be in over the University of Scranton.

    Kevin Harris

    November 5, 2017 at 4:29 pm

  4. Many valid points, Kevin Harris.

    My last five projected teams were the last five for good reason, but I feel pretty strongly about them.

    Scranton has the misfortune of being so-called “blocked” by other teams in its region. I don’t think Scranton will get to a point where it is considered for a bid. Ithaca is in a similar situation.

    I did not consult the AVCA top 25 at all with my projections because the national weekly poll is not a selection criterion. Any correlations with the poll are coincidental.

    I feel fairly strongly that La Verne is still ahead of Cal Lutheran in the West.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 4:47 pm

  5. Separate, but related question….has anyone put any thoughts into predicting the 8 regional hosts? ;)


    November 5, 2017 at 4:48 pm

  6. Anon @ 4:48 pm,
    Certainly had thoughts, but not knowing the selected teams and which schools may not have bid to host make that difficult for many of the regions.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 5:01 pm

  7. Kevin – I believe Cal Lu will get another look by the West RAC but remember La Verne beat Cal Lu twice this season. The criteria isn’t kind to the Regals – poor W/L and a very poor ranked wins record. How you are playing at the end of the season (eyeball) isn’t considered by the criteria.

    I like Scranton but as Ricky said, they are blocked. They probably will never even be considered. Ithaca has a slew of other problems, too.

    There were a bunch of teams with imperfect resumes and you named a bunch of them. Some will get in and most won’t.


    November 5, 2017 at 5:05 pm

  8. I posted my thoughts on the West Region. It’s clear as mud.


    November 5, 2017 at 5:05 pm

  9. Dang…thoughts on the West Region host site.


    November 5, 2017 at 5:06 pm

  10. I’ve never been too afraid of throwing darts blindfolded…so here goes:

    Central – Northwestern
    Great Lakes – Calvin (like rbrochelle, I’m wearing my NCAA goggles)
    MidAtlantic – Stevenson
    Midwest – Milikin
    NE – Johnson & Wales
    NY – Vassar
    South – Emory
    West – CMS


    November 5, 2017 at 5:13 pm

  11. I a looking at various sites (Pablo and Massey for a couple) and don’t see how Vassar is ranked before Ithaca.


    November 5, 2017 at 5:22 pm

  12. West teams by state sub regions:
    1 – WA/OR Pac Lu
    1 – CO Colorado college

    That’s a wash as always

    4 – TX Southwestern, Trinity, MHB, UT-Dallas
    1 – CA CMS

    even if you add La Verne the regional should be in Texas for less flights.Leaves a few for SO region.
    Or fly someone to NE which I would like to see for a change.


    November 5, 2017 at 5:40 pm

  13. Anon @ 5:13 pm,
    I cannot imagine what it would be like for Calvin to host a regional and nationals on consecutive weekends.

    The reason why I shy away from predicting regional sites is because one domino can affect the whole. If BSC is not in, it’s maybe a stretch that Emory hosts. But Emory could maybe host if BSC is not in and the West gets more than eight teams. Too many ins, outs and what-have-yous.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 5:43 pm

  14. Scranton vs Swarthmore is tricky. I would take Scranton for the better big wins. The 35 wins is a double edged sword they got so many against bad competition it hurt them in SOS and the head to head is against them.


    November 5, 2017 at 5:46 pm

  15. Anon, Ricky–I readily admit my lack of historical knowledge on the subject but for Calvin to host both a Regional as well as the Championship bracket seems odd, even for the NCAA. Has that happened?


    November 5, 2017 at 5:48 pm

  16. Mike,
    That seems like a worthwhile scavenger hunt. I’ll see what I can dig up. It would only be a crazy venture since the tourney expanded, and that would be fairly recent.

    Calvin has a strong SID/administrative game. My employer hosted the national baseball and outdoor track on the same weekend, so it could be done. But there are viable options to consider for a volleyball regional in that general area.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 5:54 pm

  17. NED3VballFan,
    I had Scranton still buried behind Muhlenberg too.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 5:55 pm

  18. Calvin hosted both a Regional site and Nationals in 2015


    November 5, 2017 at 5:55 pm

  19. Central is most likely Northwestern – number 1 seed and she is on the committee so they have all their questions answered ahead of time.
    Great Lakes – Is there a reason it wouldn’t be Wittenberg?
    Mid Atlantic – I think Stevenson takes over the 1 spot, and they have a beautiful facility, with lots of teams in an easy travel distance.
    Midwest – Milikin, but I’m less sure. Both Millikin and Illinois Wesleyan are towards the southern end but easy draws for Greenville and Wash U.
    NE – Johnson and Wales has expected they’d be top seed for a while and NE is small enough that travel distance isn’t really a concern.
    NY – Anon, who has Vassar even getting in? Stevens should be the 1 seed, they’ve hosted recently. It’s got to go to Hoboken.
    South – Emory and Berry are deserving, but beyond BSC and Covenant, I think Hanover is the only team that could drive to Emory and travel concerns are key. If Hanover can host, they bring the 4 southern schools up and then 3 northern teams down. Or, they fly two southern teams west and Berry is exactly 500 miles from Witt. Then who knows where the 8th site could be.
    West – I don’t think Laverne or Cal Lu are getting in, so I think it has to go to Texas. Fly in CMS, Colorado and Pac Lu, and then fly two other teams in…possibly from the south.


    November 5, 2017 at 6:00 pm

  20. Anon @ 5:55 pm,
    Hah! Thank you for jogging my memory all the way back to 2015.
    CNU also hosted both in 2014 as did WashU in 2011.
    I guess it’s normal. Go figure. I know I was exhausted after just nationals last year. I must be soft.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 6:04 pm

  21. Scranton should be in. I haven’t looked at why they are so low in their region, but that is a very good team.


    November 5, 2017 at 6:04 pm

  22. Noreaster,
    Thomas More can drive to Emory.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 6:06 pm

  23. Scranton doesn’t have the head to head against the team ahead of them. They have better wins out of region, if I remember correctly. Out of region doesn’t matter to the RACs.

    Everyone is ignoring Whittier. They will be ranked higher than UMHB and La Verne.


    November 5, 2017 at 6:23 pm

  24. Whittier didn’t make their conference tournament. That doesn’t preclude them from making the national championship tournament, but it does mean we don’t have to be enthusiastic about them.


    November 5, 2017 at 6:33 pm

  25. Could Carthage not host a regional based on their quality wins especially down the stretch with wins against both Illinois Wesleyan AND Millikin?


    November 5, 2017 at 6:37 pm

  26. Anon @ 6:37 pm,
    Could as in capable, but rather doubtful in reality. It’s possible and unlikely.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 6:40 pm

  27. carthage also beat wittenberg and northwestern in addition to iwu and millikin. if all 3 teams put in a bid to host (carthage, iwu, and millikin) who would have the best chance to host?


    November 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm

  28. Anon @ 6:43 pm
    My guess would be Millikin. Honestly, I think CUW would host before Carthage.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 6:45 pm

  29. Carthage hosting makes me reminisce about the weirdest hotel/motel experience I’ve ever had.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 6:49 pm

  30. I believe Carthage didn’t put in a bid to host this year! And although Kenosha is beautiful, I totally agree we have some of the weirdest/scariest motels around.


    November 5, 2017 at 7:24 pm

  31. Carthagefan,
    Agreed. In more recent treks to Kenosha, I’ve stayed near the harbor. I chose that ridiculous motel in 2007 so I could walk to and from Tarble. Lesson learned, stories gained. Win, win.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 7:39 pm

  32. I really hope UWW gets a bid. I know Whitewater is ranked 8th in the region but do you genuinely think they will get an at large?


    November 5, 2017 at 8:18 pm

  33. Alexa,
    I genuinely think UWW deserves a bid. Will UWW get one? You never know …
    [Edited to add that] I think UWW is now ahead of Eau Claire.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 8:21 pm

  34. Ricky,

    Kenosha is definitely a town with some character, and makes for some great stories. That’s why I enjoy it so much!

    As far as Millikin hosting goes, I heard they have some issues with their facilities that make them ineligible to host. Something about having inadequate locker room space? I think it seems unlikely any CCIW team will be hosting this year.

    Finally, I personally would be amused if Whitewater didn’t get a bid. Haven’t they qualified for some ridiculous number of tournaments in a row?


    November 5, 2017 at 11:17 pm

  35. Carthagefan,
    Predicting regional hosts is hard for many reasons. I try to steer clear of that game. IWU hosts multiple in-season tourneys per year in a nice facility. Carthage and CUW could host. Too many variables.

    UWW has only made each NCAA postseason since 1992. Barely counts as a streak.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 5, 2017 at 11:31 pm

  36. Carthage fan..I am not a fan of either team but I find it interesting You would be “amused” if UWW didn’t make it? .. Not really seeing the justification here besides jealously…or I guess it could be the same sense of amusement their fans had this year when UWW swept Carthage?


    November 6, 2017 at 12:37 am

  37. Carthagefan & Anon @ 12:37 am,
    This bout is scheduled for three rounds. Protect yourself at all times. I want a good, clean fight. Touch gloves and go back to your corners.

    If the committee were to find in its infinite wisdom that this dispute be decided on a regional court, I would appreciate it greatly.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 6, 2017 at 12:55 am

  38. No online selection show this year? Anyone have a link?


    November 6, 2017 at 11:02 am

  39. Try NCAA DIII Volleyball home page.


    November 6, 2017 at 11:11 am

  40. nothing there yet


    November 6, 2017 at 11:19 am

  41. Hoping it shows up. UTD just tweeted out that there will be no live show. Brackets posted at 11:45 p.m. central. Can’t be true, right? Right?


    November 6, 2017 at 11:25 am

  42. Just showed up.


    November 6, 2017 at 11:30 am

  43. Get to see the 2016 championship match again…only in the first round.


    November 6, 2017 at 11:42 am

  44. Crud – Babson, Vassar and Ithaca. LOL.


    November 6, 2017 at 11:46 am

  45. shocking. just not right!


    November 6, 2017 at 11:54 am

  46. Let’s get a suicide watch on Ricky. Stat!

    I laugh because this is so bad (again). All hail the NY and NE chairs!

    Holy cow the WIAC gets one team in? If they don’t charter a bus and travel to the NE and NY regions next year for two weeks straight they are fools.


    November 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm

  47. Midwest committee needs to be replaced…ASAP..


    November 6, 2017 at 12:26 pm

  48. Midwest committee and chair need to replaced immediately…


    November 6, 2017 at 12:28 pm

  49. All,
    I am taking deep breaths after an angry shower. I am OK and busying myself with my day job :)
    For now I will say, “I disagree heartily with our esteemed panel of judges.”

    In addition to the team selections, I also do not like the bracketing effort.

    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 6, 2017 at 1:00 pm

  50. I was getting worried Ricky. Thanks for chiming in. Do you have someone that can come over and hide the knives?

    The seeding within brackets is just strange. I think they ran out of time. Regional rankings had to be changed for this to come out like it did.

    Oh, I just rambled a bit on my site about the brackets and snubs. Luckily…no day job. :-)


    November 6, 2017 at 1:06 pm

  51. […] preferred list of 64 teams included La Verne, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Mount Union, Wisconsin-Eau Claire and […]

  52. Wisconsin teams need to go east instead of west and play some of these ranked teams early in weekend tournaments. After they sweep the tourney 4-0 at least they have shown on the court that some of the best teams in d3 are being left on the sidelines come November. But we all know, the $ talk when it comes to shipping teams all over the country.


    November 8, 2017 at 7:26 pm

  53. Going out east will honestly do nothing for the Midwest.. Can anyone tell me why the rac hated lacrosse and the wiac…. Not one in region loss for lacrosse.. seriously…Yet they don’t make the ranking till really late. .. Point ( on the committee) is ranked before them initially and had no reason to be? It’s the poor, and weak representation from the rac and thier lack of fighting for one of the, if not the strongest conferences in the country… Come on ….. uaa gets 4..wiac gets only 1for probably the first time in the HISTORY of the tourney…. And they had some of the best sos in the country…The rac have set a bad precedence …. The midwest rac decided sos meant little so they could manipulate who they wanted to get in… Then in another incident they decided head to head and winning percentage meant less …… Sure they are proud of thier feat but it has created a major issue in this process… … Why would lax, ww, eau Claire , St point, uwo want to go play anyone… If they get no credit for beating each other, go play the nacc weak teams.. Amongst others in the region but no… Whitewater had NO unnranked losses and gets penalized for it , Eau Claire beat several ranked teams including with and northwestern…. How are they not in.. Come on…


    November 8, 2017 at 10:05 pm

  54. Anon @ 10:05 pm,
    The committee as a whole did not do their jobs. I doubt next year’s committee can do worse, so I wouldn’t change what has worked for decades just because the past couple of committees went off script. Then again I understand the impulse.
    -Ricky Nelson

    Ricky Nelson

    November 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

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