Emory – 2018 NCAA DIII Champions

I like to continue what I started last year (when it makes sense) and, like last year, I think it’s proper to pay respects to the champion. But, first…

…So, when the NCAA decides NOT to select at least 8 West Region teams to their regional (for the second time in three years), it starts to get frustrating. You keep favoring the larger regions and then reward them by inserting them into weaker regionals. I understand the cost factor, BUT we are told that cost is not a factor in selection. So, maybe think about this next year (and I know you won’t) when you bypass UMHB or a La Verne or whomever steps up next season for a Babson or a Vassar or whomever plays well in their large region but doesn’t beat anyone of consequence.

– Words of wisdom from me this time last year that resulted in only 6 teams from the West being selected this year and not one, but two weaker regionals consisting of teams from larger regions. Your welcome!

Enough of that. Congratulations to Emory!

The Eagles dropped only one set on their way to their 2nd ever championship. Trivia answers – Ithaca and 2008! They went through two of the better West Region teams to make it to the Elite 8 and deserved their trophy playing one of the tougher schedules in DIII volleyball.

As for the final, they hit 0.364 against Calvin (who does that?) and turned two of the sets into non-events. Karissa Dzurik led the way with 13 kills hitting 0.310 and finishing with 15 points. Mady Arles had 35 assists but also chipped in 5 kills, 3 aces and 3 blocks. Elyse Thompson had 24 digs.

This is now the fourth straight year we’ve had a sweep in the final and it sure seems like with the reseeding of the Elite 8 that this shouldn’t be the case.

As for my favorite stat that you need to be in the top 10 of hitting percentage to win a national champion…well…maybe not every year. Emory went into this past weekend in 13th place if the NCAA stats are to be believed but I’m unsure if that was updated or not through yesterday’s match. So, there is still hope that the 0.364 performance moves them in the top 10. I can’t tell you how much I hope it does.

Although some life events curtailed my volleyball watching towards the end, I’ve enjoyed a second year of writing, complaining and entertaining (?). Just a reminder I will keep it going although at a slightly reduced rate throughout the off-season.

My final words…

To the senior parents out there…I feel your pain. It’s officially over. Your student-athlete will never understand the joy they have brought to your lives. The sense of pride is unmatched. If you are lucky, your grandchildren will be able to bring that same joy to their lives and only then will they understand. Please keep supporting this wonderful game and, oh yeah, start worrying about your daughter getting a job next summer. They brought you joy but there is no way you are letting them back into the house!

To the non-senior parents…at least one more year of supporting your student-athlete, their school and this great game is ahead of you. Cherish it. It goes by too fast.

And to the champions…enjoy a moment you’ll never forget. For the rest of your lives you are champions. Each and ever one of you. You’ve created a bond within your team and to your school that can never be broken and all I can say is that I’m envious. Fly Higher.

6 thoughts on “Emory – 2018 NCAA DIII Champions

  1. Your posts improve my volleyball knowledge and make me laugh. I’m going to show your line about “getting a summer job” to my older kids who complain that one member of the family gets away with counting coaching volleyball camps as a summer job. Everything you said about being a volleyball parent is true. I have loved the D3 volleyball parent experience – the other parents are lovely and the players have been inspirational with their commitment to their sport, each other and academics. I will focus on cherishing next year rather than worrying that it is my last year watching my daughter play. Again, thanks for the sage advice on volleyball and life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said RR! You might encourage some others besides you and me to just keep on enjoying D3 volleyball even after their daughters are done. It is a great way to spend the fall.
    All things you appreciated about your own daughter and her teammates just continues to be true. Student athletes are a dedicated hard working group. And the parents who enjoy volleyball weekends are a fun bunch in my experience.
    Now if we can just get the NCAA to let you, me, and Ricky redesign the pool C selection process we will be all set! ,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Count me in!

      I will say that I can be over critical (no!?!). It hits me hard when I go through the mock selections and I start feeling sorry for the selection committee. With that said, we’d do better!


  3. Thank you RR for leading me humorously into “life after volleyball”. While I’ll still catch as many games for La Verne and SCIAC teams it just won’t be the same. I won’t worry about what I wore to the last big win or whether I should shave. I won’t sit on pins and needles and analyze the passing, sets and hits. I won’t agonize when my kid just isn’t “in the zone” or rejoice at a monster kill through a double block for the game winner! What I will have is years of memories and friendships forged in the heat of competition. I’ll have the respect I heap on those traditionally great programs and joy of watching others achieve that success. I’ll always cherish the D3 experience…..It just doesn’t get any better!!! Thanks again for the insight see you next year!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few things in response:

      1) I just tell all of the incoming freshmen that I’m their grandpa. That way I always have family on the court. They get no money from me but I’ll cheer for them all 4-years.

      2) Not having a child on the court does reduce the stress level.

      3) “Next year”? I’m year-round, baby!

      Liked by 1 person

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