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

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Ricky Nelson’s 2018 preseason top 25 revisited

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My 2018 preseason top 25 was not as good as my 2017 preseason top 25, when six of my top nine teams advanced to the Elite 8. But I won’t shy away from looking back at my 2018 preseason thoughts that were published on Dec. 27.

Regional finalists are in bold. Teams with a strike through were not in the NCAA tournament.

2018 Preseason top 25 (AVCA preseason rank)
1 (3). Colorado College
2 (5). Emory
3 (2). Calvin
4 (10). Washington-St. Louis
5 (7). Gustavus Adolphus
6 (4). Wittenberg
7 (13). Illinois Wesleyan
8 (27). Chicago
9 (6). Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
10 (8). Ithaca
11 (26). St. Thomas
12 (25). Berry
13 (12). Carnegie Mellon
14 (42). Tufts
15 (14). Carthage
16 (17). Juniata
17 (30). Aurora
18 (31). Whittier
19 (23). Christopher Newport
20 (35). Wisconsin-Eau Claire
21 (11). Trinity (Texas)
22 (1). Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
23 (18). Johns Hopkins
24 (9). Southwestern
25 (20). MIT

The Next 40: Augsburg; Babson (37); Bethel; Birmingham-Southern; Cal Lutheran (38); Case Western Reserve; Chapman; Clarkson (44); DePauw (45); DeSales; Eastern (40); Heidelberg; Hope; La Verne; Mary Hardin-Baylor (46); Mary Washington (49); Millikin (16); Muhlenberg; Northwestern (15); Ohio Northern (19); Otterbein (28); Pacific; Pacific Lutheran (22); Randolph-Macon; Saint Benedict; Scranton; Stevens (36); Swarthmore (21); Texas Dallas (34); Texas Lutheran; Texas Tyler; Vassar (47); Wartburg (39); Washington and Lee; Wellesley; Wesleyan (29); Wisconsin-La Crosse (32); Wisconsin-Oshkosh (41); Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Wisconsin-Whitewater (33).

In AVCA’s top 50 but not my top 65: Stevenson (24); Concordia Wisconsin (43); Cornell (48); Susquehanna (50).

Not among my top 65 nor AVCA’s top 50 but made a regional final: Bowdoin; Thomas More.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

December 4, 2018 at 5:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2018 NCAA stats: Central/Midwest home to 11 national leaders

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The following are Central and Midwest players and teams in the top 10 nationally, according to the final NCAA Division III stats of the 2018 season. The national leader is listed regardless of region. Players and teams not from the Central or Midwest regions are listed in italics.

Stats were declared official Dec. 2.

Aces/Set
1. Nikola Knapova, NVU-Johnson 1.00
1. Kryaleigh Zinnel, SUNY Old Westbury 1.00
8. Abby Freeman, Greenville 0.82
1. NVU-Johnson 3.75

Total Aces
1. Abby Freeman, Greenville 99
1. Misericordia 394

Assists/Set
1. Sydney Schwitters, Northwestern 11.59
2. Lexi Wall, St. Olaf 11.55
3. Madison Surprise, Wisconsin-Eau Claire 11.46
4. Elizabeth Ganley, Illinois College 11.34
5. Emily Lines, Aurora 11.09
9. Emma Griffith, Chicago 10.94
10. Jilliann Schulte, Cornell 10.91
1. Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 13.16
2. Wisconsin-Eau Claire 13.07
3. Aurora 12.98
7. St. Olaf 12.76
8. St. Thomas 12.75

Total Assists
1. Madison Surprise, Wisconsin-Eau Claire 1,490
2. Emma Griffith, Chicago 1,367
6. Emily Lines, Aurora 1,298
7. Katherine Koch, Saint Benedict 1,286
8. Emily VerWay, Wisconsin-Superior 1,254
10. Rose Syversen, Millikin 1,245
1. Wisconsin-Eau Claire 1,752
3. Aurora 1,610
7. Chicago 1,572
8. St. Thomas 1,568
10. Millikin 1,545

Blocks/Set
1. Madison Weiss, Saint Benedict 1.55
8. Morgan Miller, Minnesota Morris 1.21
10. Karin Canakes, Bethel 1.19
1. Pacific Lutheran 2.76
2. Saint Benedict 2.57
6. Wisconsin-Whitewater 2.31
8. Bethel 2.29

Total Blocks
1. Madison Weiss, Saint Benedict 194
2. Krista Meyer, Wisconsin-Eau Claire 154
4. Hunter Weiss, Saint Benedict 142
6. Ashton Doll, Wisconsin-Whitewater 138
1. Saint Benedict 326.5
5. Wisconsin-Whitewater 275
7. Wisconsin-Eau Claire 260.5
9. Washington-St. Louis 255.5
10. Bethel 254
10. St. Thomas 254

Digs/Set
1. Kristen Farrah, Webster 8.32
3. Mia Gill, Principia 7.49
4. Mady Ferris, Knox 6.93
8. Brittany Robinson, Wisconsin-Whitewater 6.09
1. Cedar Crest 24.53
2. Webster 23.49
3. Principia 22.40
7. Dubuque 20.18

Total Digs
1. Kate Isaksen, Clarkson 901
2. Kristen Farrah, Webster 882
3. Brittany Robinson, Wisconsin-Whitewater 725
5. Hannah Robb, Wisconsin-River Falls 691
7. Haley LaValle, Saint Benedict 687
8. Mady Ferris, Knox 686
10. Steph Cannon, Wisconsin-Stout 675
1. Westminster (Pa.) 2,612
3. Webster 2,490
4. Dubuque 2,442
6. Saint Benedict 2,415
10. Wisconsin-River Falls 2,314

Hitting Percentage
1. Julianne Malek, Washington-St. Louis .438
1. Johnson & Wales (R.I.) .296

Opponent Hitting Percentage
1. Merchant Marine 0.055

Kills/Set
1. Abby Bertics, MIT 4.97 
2. Abby Freeman, Greenville 4.96
3. April Gehl, Wisconsin-Stevens Point 4.73
8. Mariah Halvorsen, Northwestern 4.34
9. Grace Larson, Lake Forest 4.32
10. Kaylin Kuhn, Grinnell 4.32
1. Cedar Crest 14.29
2. Wisconsin-Eau Claire 13.86
6. Aurora 13.68
8. Northwestern 13.65

Total Kills
1. Abby Freeman, Greenville 600
2. April Gehl, Wisconsin-Stevens Point 582
5. Madelyn Pashibin, Wisconsin-Eau Claire 509
8. Katie Vondra, Aurora 481
1. Thomas More 1,859
2. Wisconsin-Eau Claire 1,857
6. Aurora 1,696
8. Chicago 1,679
10. Illinois Wesleyan 1,654

Points/Set
1. Abby Freeman, Greenville 6.09
3. April Gehl, Wisconsin-Stevens Point 5.25
6. Kaylin Kuhn, Grinnell 5.04
10. Nicole Ciari, Cornell 4.91

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

December 3, 2018 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2018 AVCA final poll: Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Aurora move into top 6

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National champion Emory was not the unanimous top-ranked team in the final AVCA poll of the 2018 season. The Eagles got 69 top votes while runner-up Calvin got one and finished second in the poll. I love it.

Rounding out the top five were No. 3 Juniata, No. 4 Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Wittenberg. Aurora, ranked for just the second time, was sixth in the final poll. Aurora’s only previous poll appearance was a No. 25 ranking in 2017.

Other Central and Midwest region teams in the final 2018 poll: No. 10 Illinois Wesleyan; No. 13 Chicago; No. 15 Washington-St. Louis; No. 18 Gustavus Adolphus; No. 19 Wisconsin-Whitewater; No. 23 Saint Benedict.

Illinois Wesleyan matched its highest ever ranking. Chicago achieved its highest ever poll position earlier this season when it reached No. 8 for two straight weeks.

Central and Midwest region teams receiving votes in the final poll: Minnesota Morris; St. Thomas.

My final top 10 of the 2018 season had Chicago instead of Colorado College.

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

November 20, 2018 at 10:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Ricky Nelson’s 2018 final top 10

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The AVCA poll comes out Tuesday.

My rank, (My Week 10 rank, AVCA Week 10 rank), record, finish
1 (7,9). Emory 30-6 National Champion.
2 (1,1). Calvin 33-2 National Runner-up.
3 (10,14). Wisconsin-Eau Claire 33-4 National Semifinalist.
4 (4,6). Juniata 28-4 National Semifinalist.
5 (3,3). Wittenberg 25-3 Regional Finalist.
6 (6,7). Thomas More 33-4 Regional Finalist.
7 (NR,NR). Aurora 26-9 National Quarterfinalist.
8 (9,11). Illinois Wesleyan 27-6 Regional Finalist.
9 (8,10). Chicago 29-5 Regional Semifinalist. 
10 (5,5). Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 27-4 Regional Semifinalist. 
Dropped Out: No. 2 Johnson & Wales (R.I.) (33-2).

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

November 18, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

11/17/18: #9 Emory trounces #1 Calvin, wins 2nd national title

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NCAA Division III Championship Final
#9 Emory 3, #1 Calvin 0 EU outhit CC, .364 to .125.

All-Tournament
Mady Arles, Emory (MOP)
Leah Saunders, Emory
Elyse Thompson, Emory
Sarah DeVries, Calvin
Anna Kamp, Calvin
Krista Meyer, UW-Eau Claire
Dejia Danhi, Juniata

NCCAA Division II Championship Final
Bob Jones 3, Maranatha Baptist 0 BJU’s Beaver had 14 kills.

Nationals Guide

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

November 17, 2018 at 12:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

11/16/18: #1 Calvin, #9 Emory to play for title

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NCAA Division III Championship Semifinals
#1 Calvin 3, #14 UW-Eau Claire 2 CC’s DeVries had 11 kills, 29 assists, 7 digs, 13 blocks.
#9 Emory 3, #6 Juniata 0 EU had 14 aces.

NCCAA Division II Championship Pool Play
Maranatha Baptist 3, Geneva 2 MBU’s Ka. & Ke. Johnson had triple-doubles.
NCCAA Division II Championship Semifinal
Maranatha Baptist 3, Emmaus Bible 1 MBU’s Ka. Johnson had 9 kills, 22 assists, 15 digs.

Nationals Guide

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

November 16, 2018 at 12:01 am

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11/15/18: #1 Calvin, #6 Juniata, #9 Emory, #14 UW-Eau Claire advance to semis

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NCAA Division III Championship Quarterfinals
#1 Calvin 3, Aurora 1 CC’s DeVries had 20 kills, 17 assists, 6 blocks.
#6 Juniata 3, Wesleyan 2 JC’s Edwards had 18 kills.
#9 Emory 3, #25 Ithaca 1 EU’s Saunders had 11 kills, 14 digs.
#14 UW-Eau Claire 3, Babson 0 UWEC’s Surprise had 43 assists.

NCCAA Division II Championship Pool Play
Maranatha Baptist 3, Arlington Baptist 0 MBU’s Ke. Johnson had 9 kills, 18 assists, 9 digs.
Maranatha Baptist 3, Toccoa Falls 2 MBU’s Hansel had 18 kills, 17 digs.

Nationals Guide

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

November 15, 2018 at 12:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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