The opening weekend of the DII women's volleyball season saw plenty of top 25 action. The season-opening tournaments certainly had an effect on the top 25.
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Though the top four teams remained unscathed, going a combined 15-0 to open the season, there was a lot of movement in the first rankings of the regular season. Nebraska-Kearney and Tarleton State moved inside the top 10 while four teams — Drury, Cal Poly Pomona, Central Oklahoma, and West Florida — were bumped from the top 25 completely.
Let's take a look at the full rankings and then what we saw in this week's poll.
|2||Cal State San Bernardino (3)||1090||3-0||2|
|10||Concordia - St. Paul||689||2-2||5|
|15||Southwest Minnesota State||508||3-1||9|
|16||Palm Beach Atlantic||472||3-1||15|
|18||NW Missouri State||275||4-0||NR|
|20||Texas A&M - Commerce||178||3-1||20|
|22||Wayne State (Neb.)||152||4-0||NR|
|23||Cal State L.A.||139||1-3||19|
Tampa opens strong in battle(s) of DII powerhouses
The reigning national champion Tampa Spartans put themselves to the test right out of the gate. The hosts of the Courtyard by Marriott-Terrace Hotel Classic welcomed the then-No. 17 Central Missouri Jennies and then-No. 5 Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears to Tampa. By the end of the weekend, Tampa had beaten both.
No two teams have been nationally ranked inside the top 10 in the history of DII women's volleyball more than Tampa and Central Missouri. The two put on a show, but it was Tampa that rose victorious, 3-2. The Spartans closed the weekend against the program that has more DII women's volleyball titles and No. 1 rankings than any other school in history and beat the Golden Bears handily, 3-1. Throw on wins against Indiana (Pa) and Valdosta State, and the defending champs left opening weekend undefeated at 4-0. It won't get any easier this coming weekend in the Colorado Premier Challenge, but the Spartans clearly sent an early message that they are the team to beat.
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Four new teams enter the AVCA rankings
Northwest Missouri State, Hillsdale, Michigan Tech, and Wayne State (Neb) all join the top 25 this week. The Bearcats enter the poll at the highest mark at No. 18. It's just two shy of the highest ranking the Bearcats have ever received, coming in at No. 16 in October of 2016.
It's well deserved. Northwest Missouri State opened the season 4-0 with wins over No. 25 Central Washington and then-No. 18 Drury. No. 19 Hillsdale scored a tremendous opening day victory, taking down then-No. 5 Concordia-St. Paul 3-2 boosting the Chargers into the poll. No. 21 Michigan Tech also impressed on opening night, taking down then-No. 9 Southwest Minnesota State. Lastly, Wayne State (Neb) had a perfect opening weekend and heads to Fort Lauderdale, Florida this weekend for the Nova Southeastern Shark Invite II.
Risers and fallers in the latest top 25
Despite the loss to No. 1 Tampa, Central Missouri jumped the most this week, leaping five spots to No. 12. The Jennies handled Hillsdale and Florida Southern which both received votes. Barry, which hosted its own Classic this past weekend, came out 4-0 and jumped three spots to No. 13.
Southwest Minnesota State took the biggest fall this week, going from inside the top 10 to No. 15, falling six spots. Concordia-St. Paul, who ended its opening week 2-2 with the upset to Hillsdale and loss to No. 1 Tampa, fell five spots to No. 10. The Golden Bears will have a chance to regroup quickly at the Colorado Premier Challenge with matches against West Florida and Ferris State on tap.