With all eyes on NCAA college volleyball this season, it’s no surprise that fans and teams would be closely watching as the NCAA Division I women’s volleyball committee reveals its top 10 during the regular season.
The committee placed Wisconsin, Nebraska and Florida at the top of its list on September 24, which came during the Tennessee-Kentucky match. On October 29, during the Washington and Oregon match, the committee awarded Nebraska, Stanford and Wisconsin with the top three spots.
While wins and losses certainly play a large part in where a team is ranked, there a number of other important criteria that is used to rank, and later on, select and seed teams for the volleyball championship. They include:
- Strength of schedule;
- Rating Percentage Index (RPI);
- Head-to-head competition;
- Results versus common opponents;
- Significant wins/losses and location of those contests.
Additionally, the Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee takes input given by the regional advisory committees under their consideration.
Holly Strauss-O’Brien, the deputy director of athletics/senior woman administrator at Loyola University Chicago and the chair of the committee, shared more about the rankings process and how the committee makes the tough decisions it does.
In one word/sentence, how would you describe the 2023 volleyball season?
Exciting, unpredictable, and historic!
About how many games do you watch a week?
There’s a lot of volleyball being watched and discussed by the committee. I would say (using multiple devices to watch a couple games at a time) I typically watch 15-20 matches a week. To me, watching matches is such an important piece to our role and responsibility as committee members. There are so many variables that go into a win: home/away/neutral site, overall health of a team, and the fact that teams are human. They have good days, bad days, and okay days. Not to mention, winning is hard! Watching the competition allows you to see what separates good teams from great teams. Meaning, on the bad days, or a road game with a packed arena, is a team able to find a way to win? It’s really fun to watch the journey all of the teams take throughout the course of the season.
How often does the committee meet to discuss everything going on the Division I volleyball world?
We have a formal set meeting every other week to go over feedback and rankings from our Regional Advisory Committee meetings; however, as a…