Did you know that over the last 9 years (as far back as my data goes) that the only statistic the DIII national champion has had in common is that they must finish in the Top 10 11 of Team Hitting Percentage! That’s right, this year Emory has blown a hole in my hitting percentage theory by finishing in a tie for 11th. Hey, if the Eagles want to zig on me then I’m going to zag and now say the national champion must be in the Top 11. It means new tee-shirts have to be made for my online store but a small price to pay. Speaking of a small price, the shirt is yours for only the low price of $99.99. Extra small is the only size we carry.
I wanted to give some statistical shout-outs to the West Region since the season is over. Here are the teams that finished in the top 5 in the nation in a category:
- Pacific Lutheran finished 1st in the nation in blocks/set.
- Colorado College finished 3rd in the nation in hitting percentage.
- Centenary finished 3rd in the nation in total attacks.
- UMHB finished 4th in the nation in total blocks.
- Colorado College finished 5th in the nation in assists/set (4th in team assists).
- Trinity finished 5th in the nation in hitting percentage.
- Colorado College finished 5th in the nation in kills/set (3rd in team kills).
Here are the players that finished in the top 10 in the nation:
- Sophie Srivastava (Chapman) finished 2nd in the nation in triple-doubles.
- Mackenzie Harris (PLU) finished 2nd in the nation in blocks/set.
- Lauren Schilling (UTD) finished 3rd in the nation in blocks/set.
- Sarah Paolini (UMHB) finished 8th in the nation in total blocks.
- Hope Hoelscher (UMHB) finished 8th in the nation in hitting percentage.
- Jaci Chambers (TLU) finished 9th in the nation in total digs.
- Marissa Stinson (Concordia) finished 9th in the nation in hitting percentage.
- Katrina Lieberman (Trinity) finished 10th in the nation in total assists.
- Annika Canaba (Sul Ross State) finished 10th in the nation in triple-doubles.
The AVCA Top 25 came out last week and was promptly ignored by me. This is the second year doing this and the second year where I just grew tired of the poll. You can find the poll here if you want to look through it. Emory was the obvious choice as #1 although there was one voter who still voted Calvin in the top spot. This isn’t uncommon as there always seems to be one coach that doesn’t really pay attention to that last submittal. The #1 team in the West Region per the AVCA was CMS (8) followed by Colorado College (9), UMHB (16), Trinity (17) and Pacific Lutheran (23). UT-Tyler was bounced out of the poll for doing nothing as I’m sure there were coaches that didn’t realize they were not eligible for the tournament. The highest finisher that didn’t make the Elite 8 was Wittenberg (5). The two Elite 8 teams that didn’t make the poll’s final 8 were, shockingly, Wesleyan (14) and Babson (20).
The Independent schools announced their All-Independent Team and it has a number of UC Santa Cruz players listed. You can see all of the Award winners in my link on the left side menu. This team consists of players from schools that are not affiliated with a conference. Alana Susbilla was named setter of the year. The only awards I’m missing are the CoSIDA Academic All-Americans as that typically comes out in December. I also fear I missed a Colorado College regional All-Tournament Team member so if anyone knows that information I’ll add it.
Speaking of all-tournament teams, the typical breakdown is three members for the winning team including the Most Outstanding Player. Two spots go to the runner-up and then one each to the semi-final losers. There was some deviation to this format this year at some regionals, which maybe only me thought was interesting.
The DI NCAA volleyball tournament starts today! Some of you may not be familiar with DI as they are a lesser level in the NCAA hierarchy. More of an athlete factory than a true institute for learning. That was a joke! Just kidding! It’s funny! Don’t @ me!
Stanford has the #1 seed in the tournament and my nephew does attend there so maybe they’ll be my team. Of course my brother-in-law went there so that has to be a minus. I do follow the Big 12 but I hate Texas (5). I never asked Southwestern’s assistant coach, ex-UT Sarah Palmer, if she reads the site. I guess if she does this will flush her out. There’s Baylor but as a TCU fan that’s a non-starter. I guess it’s going to be my first college love, USC, that gets my rose. Go Trojans!
Memo to coaches and SIDs – I’m here for you. If you have story ideas or interesting articles published on your team please send them my way so the entire region can share in it. I do plan on listing the 2019 recruits and it’s much easier to do this with your help. My goal is to give these incoming student-athletes some love and my hope is that it actually helps our region to recruit over other regions. Maybe far-fetched but I want the volleyball talent to be in the West and anything that helps is a good thing.