2018 Watch List

Updated: 10/31/18

In my posts, you will come across the term “Watch List”, which simply means the West Region teams that I believe are in position to garner a Pool C bid come November selection time (if they do not win the automatic Pool A bid). If you need a rundown on Pool A and C bids then check out the FAQ page. I decided to make this a permanent page as it gives me a little more freedom to keep this updated without polluting the main page. This will be a fluid list and I’ll try to update it with wins/losses and signature wins/losses. The “(#)” are the number of sets in the match. Records are in-division only.

Teams removed since last update:  None

No sense removing teams now…we’ll know for sure soon. With that said, Southwestern,  Whittier and Whitworth seem like they have no chance to receive an at-large bid. We can now probably add Chapman to this list, as well.

Teams added since last update:  None


NOTE – In-Depth write-ups are below the table. UT-Tyler is not listed here because they are not eligible for the NCAA Tournament as they reclassify to DII next year.

NOTE – Wins and losses are DIII ONLY. When considering NCAA selection, the primary criteria only considers DIII matches.

School Wins Losses Wins Losses
Cal Lutheran 17 10 JWU(RI)(4), Carthage(4), Salisbury(4),
La Verne(3),
UMHB(5), Clarkson(5),
La Verne(5),
Chapman 19 7 Salisbury(3), Southwestern(3)
Cal Lu(4),
La Verne(4),
Cal Lu (5),
La Verne(4)
CMS 24 3 Carthage(5), Southwestern(3) UT-Dallas(4)(5), Trinity(5), Whittier(5)(4),
La Verne(5)(3),
Cal Lutheran(4),
Cal Lu(5),
Colorado College 28 2 St. Thomas(4),
Pac Lutheran(3),
La Verne 18 10 Southwestern(4) UT-Dallas(4),
Cal Lu(5)
Salisbury(3), JWU(RI)(4), Trinity(4), Concordia(3),
Cal Lu(3),
Pacific Lutheran 18 3 Oshkosh(3), Millikin(3),
Colorado Col (3),
Southwestern 15 10 UTD(4), La Verne(4), Carthage(3), CMS(3),
Trinity 24 5 Adolphus(4), UWSP(4), Aurora(4),
Colorado Col(5),
La Verne(4),
UMHB 22 3 Heidelberg(3), Cal Lu (5),
Whittier (5),
UT-Dallas 21 8 Heidelberg(3), Trinity(5),
Cal Lu(4),
La Verne(4),
Whittier 16 12 UMHB(5),
La Verne(5),
Cal Lu(4),
Emory(3), IWU(5),
St. Ben(3), Clarkson(3), Puget Sound(5),
Cal Lu(4),
La Verne(4),
Whitworth 18 5 Pac Lutheran(3), Berry(3),
Puget Sound(5),
Pac Lu(4),

In-Depth Looks

I’ve added the current records. I’ve also added the SOS from last week’s Regional Ranking’s data sheets and my “anticipated” Ranked Wins record. Remember that Ranked Wins will always lag a week as they have to use the previous week’s data until the final ranking is done prior to selection. I will do a West Region RAC prediction in a separate post later in the week.

Cal Lutheran (17-10 0.630, 0.602 SOS, 5-8 anticipated Ranked Wins)

Cal Lu got dropped last week but remained ranked and this week were able to build on their resume. They should at least stay where they are or move higher. I did have Cal Lu making the NCAA Tournament in my mock partly due to their win over JWU which gives them a common opponent advantage in the New England Region. It’s important that this team doesn’t get blocked in the rankings as I think they can get a bid.

Chapman (19-7 0.731, 0.534, 3-6)

Not a week to remember for the Panthers as I believe they have eliminated themselves from an at-large bid. Their saving grace was their record but three losses this week takes that away. Coupled with a very poor SOS and a worse ranked win record I just don’t see them being ranked this week. This is a good young team that with a tougher schedule next year should be hard to keep out of the NCAA Tournament.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (24-3 0.889, 0.605, 10-3)

The #1 seed in the West Region just improved their resume as their ranked wins move to 10-3. They are in the tournament and it’s just a matter if they host or not.

Colorado College (28-2 0.933, 0.525, 2-2) *Includes 2 JWU wins

With their Trinity win two weeks ago they moved up to the third spot last week. They did lose a ranked win when PLU was dropped and their SOS is still a problem. When I did the mock they immediately went in because of their record and the head-to-head win over St. Thomas who has a really good resume. The Tommies have also beaten a number of Central teams that I believe will get bids so common opponent is favorable for the Tigers.

La Verne (18-10 0.643, 0.579, 5-6)

The Leopards received the 8th spot last week and had a chance to run the table this past week and improve their chances. They took down Chapman and Whittier to avenge earlier losses but then got tripped up by Pomona-Pitzer. There resume is about what it was last week so I expect them to get ranked again but being 8th is the same as being unranked, I believe.

Pacific Lutheran (16-3 0.842, 0.561, 0-1) * Includes 1 JWU win

Last week we saw PLU drop from the West RAC rankings so they were never considered for selection in my mock. There wasn’t another team regionally ranked with zero ranked wins so in theory they would lose out to every team in this criterion. Couple that with an average SOS and you have real problems. The one saving grace is that they do have three good national wins against teams that have beaten regional ranked opponents. This can come into play with the common opponent criterion. If you are a Lutes fan and you don’t win the NWC then you need Chapman and La Verne to both lose. At that point you should probably be ranked ahead of Chapman (you might be ahead of them this week) and you can make a case to be ahead of La Verne. If I’m the RAC, I break any close decisions by which team I think I has the best chance to get into the tournament.

Southwestern (15-10 0.600, 0.577, 1-8) *Includes 2 JWU wins

They needed that Trinity win to have any hope and it would have been slim regardless. This is a team that in October went to 5-sets with UMHB, UTT and now Trinity. They really have to win the SCAC Tournament to make the NCAA Tournament and they have a puncher’s chance. Too bad they are going up against two of the stronger teams in the region.

Trinity (24-5 0.828, 0.595, 5-5) *Includes 2 JWU wins

Trinity was ranked 4th last week but did everything they needed to this past week. A win over UMHB puts the 2nd seed in play and their ranked wins went from 4-5 to 7-5. They are a lock for selection and frankly they should probably just rest their players in the SCAC semi-finals if they play Southwestern. (I don’t ask for much!)

UMHB (22-3 0.880, 0.553, 3-2)

They lost to Trinity in 4-sets so we removed their Whittier ranked loss as the Poets fell out of the rankings but add in the Trinity loss. They were sitting second last week in the rankings and the Trinity loss takes the #1 spot out of reach. They could fall to 4th this week but still they should be fine for selection even if they lose two to UT-Dallas in the double-elimination ASC Tournament.

UT-Dallas (21-8 0.724, 0.574, 3-6)

The Comets are sitting in a very good spot at #5. In my mock selection last week I had them getting in without too many issues. They got a good win against UT-Tyler this week but the bad part of it is that it doesn’t count as a ranked win. With La Verne being ranked and the loss this week to WUSTL, their ranked win record suffers. I think as long as they make the ASC Tournament finals they should be in a good place. The problem with the ASC double-elimination format is that the loser comes away with two losses. Can a 3-8 ranked win team get selected? It would help if they could take a match against UMHB.

Whittier (16-12 0.600, 0.588, 4-8)

The Poets didn’t have the week they needed and as a result they are out of the SCIAC Tournament and have no chance at an at-large bid this year.

Whitworth (18-5 0.783, 0.556, 0-3) *Includes 1 JWU win

With PLU dropping out of the rankings, Whitworth lost their only ranked win. In order to lose out of the NWC title, they will have to lose another match. The combination of all of this (and a low SOS) means that the Pirates really don’t have any at-large bid hopes. They must win their conference.