NCAA sets 64-team DIII field, DI announcement Wednesday

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The 64-team NCAA Division III volleyball field was announced Monday at NCAA.com with a live webcast. See below for information about an NCAA listing of the top-10 Division I teams.

Those 64 DIII teams are trying to get to the Kolf Sports Center in Oshkosh, Wisc., for the semifinals Nov. 17 and the championship match Nov. 19.

Calvin freshman middle Sarah DeVries attacks in a match against Elmhurst as teammate Jenna Lodewyk covers. Calvin enters the tournament 27-1.
Calvin freshman middle Sarah DeVries attacks in a match against Elmhurst as teammate Jenna Lodewyk covers. Calvin enters the tournament 27-1.

The first round will be competed at eight regional sites from which the winners will advance to the quarterfinals in Wisconsin. The host schools and their locations:

Brockport (Brockport, New York)

Calvin (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

Mary Washington (Fredericksburg, Va.)

Northwestern-St. Paul (St. Paul, Minn.)

Stevens (Hoboken, N.J.)

Texas-Dallas (Dallas, Texas)

Tufts  (Medford, Mass.)

Wisconsin-Whitewater (Whitewater, Wisc.)

Here is a preview from D3 aficionado Lawrence DiRe:

Defending national-champion California Lutheran will begin first-round play in the St. Paul, Minn., bracket and faces a potentially tough third-round match with Upper Midwest Conference champion Northwestern-St Paul. 

2015’s national runner-up, Wittenberg, faces a challenging road back to the finals including potential matches against Millikan, Calvin, and Emory.

Johnson and Wales University (33-0) is the only undefeated team in the field and meets UMass-Boston on Friday. 

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference got three members —Whitewater, LaCrosse, and Oshkosh — into the field. 

First-round matches of note include perennial Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin power Elmhurst College against Hope College, fresh off its Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament final win over previously unbeaten and top-ranked Calvin College.

Also keep an eye out for Juniata and Meredith out of the University of Mary Washington region.  Watch for Tufts to make a deep run, setting a potential third-round match with the winner of a UTexas-Dallas versus Claremont M-S Athenas contest.

The bubble-burst for conference tournament runners up Swarthmore, Berry, and Hanover.

Click here for the NCAA news release.

Click here for the NCAA DIII bracket.

Cal Lutheran beat Wittenburg for the 2015 NCAA title.

Division I rankings announcement

On Wednesday, the NCAA will announce a preliminary Division I ranking of the top 10 teams. The announcement will be made at 6 p.m. Eastern during the Alabama vs. Auburn match on ESPNU. 

The release said:

The committee continues to create new ways to raise interest in the championship and believes that the early reveal of a top 10 ranking 18 days ahead of Selection Sunday will increase excitement in the volleyball community.  The early reveal will also provide a first look at potential teams competing for top seed positions in the upcoming 2016 championship.

The championship will take place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The national semifinals will be held December 15 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and will air live on ESPN2. The national championship will take place December 17 at 9 p.m. and will also air live on ESPN2.

The ranking announcement will have no bearing on the final bracket that will be revealed during the selection show on Sunday, November 27, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

The ranking is based on the criteria used to select and seed the 64 teams for the Division I Volleyball Championship and include strength of schedule, Rating Percentage Index, head-to-head competition, results versus common opponents, significant wins and losses, and locations of contests. Additionally, input is provided by the regional advisory committees for consideration by the Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee.

VolleyballMag.com has an interview with Division I volleyball committee chair Lisa Peterson that will appear here later this week.

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