West Region Rankings

It’s still too early to apply the selection criteria to the rankings but with two weekends under our belt I am looking for something (anything) that will help me organize my thoughts a bit. I’m keeping a watch list of teams that have a chance at the Pool C bid and I had to remove Hardin-Simmons, Whitworth and Puget Sound. Whittier was added. The list consists of UT Tyler, UT Dallas, UMHB, Pac Lu, Trinity, Southwestern, Colorado College, La Verne, CMS, Whittier, Chapman and Cal Lutheran. Please don’t bother me with Linfield (6-1), Pacific (6-1) and Austin College (7-1). Play someone! (Austin College’s schedule gets a lot tougher from this point on so they will have a chance to get added later in the season. Since the NW teams stay in the NW from now on, they have no chance to be added.)

My rank, (my Week 1 rank, AVCA Week 1 rank), record, key results last week
1 (4, 3). Southwestern 7-0 W: Chris Newport.
2 (5, 6). Colorado College 7-0 W: [None].
3 (NR, NR). Whittier 6-2 W: Pacific Lutheran, Trinity.
4 (2, 10). Trinity 6-2 W: CMS, Cal Lu; L: Whittier.
5 (1, 9). Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 6-2 W: Pacific Lutheran; L: Trinity.
6 (7, NR). Mary Hardin Baylor 8-0 W: Hendrix.
7 (NR, 15). La Verne 6-1 W: Springfield; L: MIT.
8 (8, NR). Pacific Lutheran 6-2 W: Cal Lutheran; L: CMS, Whittier.
Dropped Out: No. 3 Cal Lutheran (4-5); No. 6 UT Tyler (7-1).

I had a lot of struggles here and it all starts with Trinity. I was all set to make Trinity my #1 team until they lost to Whittier. Whittier already has a loss to Colorado College but has proven themselves to be a good albeit surprising team this season. I really respect the head-to-head result so I had to take Whittier ahead of Trinity and that meant putting Colorado College ahead of both of them. I still like CMS so I slotted them behind Trinity. That’s a good core ranking in my opinion but then I had the issue of Southwestern. They have nice wins against Elmhurst and Chris Newport but I’d be lying if I said I know how good this team is at this point in the season. I didn’t feel comfortable slotting them behind my core group so that meant inserting them somewhere.  I decided they fall before or after CC and because CC didn’t really play any strong opponents this week I felt it only fair to give them the #1 spot. With that said, I really don’t think there is much to separate these teams so far in the year. UMHB is undefeated and have some nice wins against Susquehanna and South Region teams so far this season. I slotted them at 6 but I look for them to move up in the coming weeks. I felt really bad not ranking La Verne last week but I was scared off by all of their 5-set wins. When I look at how they won against some common opponents that CMS has, it’s obvious to me that they need to be slotted after them and that is what I ended up doing this week. Pac Lutheran lost their first two matches this week but I kept them in the rankings as they were to CMS and Whittier. Their week 1 win against St. Thomas (7-1) is looking better and better and was enough to me to rank them ahead of UTD (who had an undefeated weekend).

None of us knew how Cal Lutheran would respond this year losing so many good players. I liked that they took Calvin and Trinity to 5-sets their first weekend but something went wrong on Saturday as they got swept by Pac Lu and Trinity. I see Stewart only got 14 swings against Trinity so something has to be up there. UT Tyler (7-1) can’t be ranked when you lose to TLU (swept no less).

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