The FrogJump Top 20: D3 Review

The FrogJump Top 20 is our Power Ranking of the DIII Men’s Volleyball Landscape. Our algorithm uses the cumulative statistics of D3VB men’s programs throughout the season, reflecting the ever changing dynamics within the landscape as teams compete to be the best in the nation. The better a team performs, the higher they’ll climb in our model. As it stands, only match data up to 1/31 was taken into account (sorry Juniata, the Messiah win will be reflected next week). Eleven teams in our model remain undefeated and two teams have losing records through the first three weeks of play.

  1. Springfield: The Pride sit atop the landscape and remain undefeated this week coming off a sweep of Elms at home and a 3-2 win over NYU. The Morgan Classic begins Friday, where the Pride will play host to D3 powers Vassar, NYU, and Endicott in what is normally the Elite tournament of the season. It’ll be my first time experiencing a match in Blake Area, and I expect fireworks.

  2. Dominican: The Stars are shining bright! Dominican is proving they deserved the hype from this past summer, emerging as early contenders to make some noise this April. Coming off an electric 3-2 road win over the reigning Champions Carthage, Dominican will have their hands full as North Central College comes to town Friday. I’ll be in Springfield so I sadly won’t be able to watch this game in real time, but for those who do, I thoroughly anticipate an explosive affair!

  3. Vassar: The Vassar offense was firing on all cylinders last week. Van Beveren is back in the middle, Gulick is finally healthy, and Andrew Kim remains one of the best Outsides in D3. They head to Springfield for the Morgan Classic on Friday, where they will face off with the Pride at 6 PM EST.

  4. Southern Virginia: The Knights had a quiet week outside of their 3-1 exhibition loss to Liberty’s club team. They head to Stevenson for a tri-match, facing off against the hosts and Lancaster Bible College.

  5. Wentworth: This past weekends snow storm deprived us of a rematch of last years most consequential game between Wentworth and Springfield, but the Leopards play host to last year’s NCAA runner up Benedictine and Emmanuel College on Saturday.

  6. Stevens Institute of Technology: The Ducks remain undefeated, clipping New Paltz 3-1 and NJCU 3-0 in their home tri-match this past Sunday. They’ll travel to face Misericordia tonight (2/2) before hitting the road again this weekend against MIT and Rivier in MA.

  7. St. John Fisher: The Cardinals suffered defeat for the first time this season, falling 3-2 to Juniata in PA. They’ll host Daemen in a D1/D3 crossover this weekend, before gearing up for their invitational against Rutgers, Thiel, and SUNY Poly.

  8. Juniata: The Eagles are on a 7 match win streak, coming off a 3-2 win over St. John Fisher and a 3-1 win over Messiah on the road. Rutgers-Newark and PSU-Altoona come to Huntington this weekend for a tri-match, giving Juniata a prime opportunity to cement themselves as one of the CVC elites.

  9. North Central College: The NCC Cardinals are riding high after a convincing 3-1 win over Benedictine, they’ll play Dominican on Friday in a “Best of the Midwest” matchup which I will most assuredly be keeping close tabs while in Springfield (send the highlights my way everybody). They’ll hit the court again on the 9th when they travel to Milwaukee to take on the MSOE Raiders.

  10. Carthage: The reigning champions have tested themselves more then most D3 teams, starting the season 0-3 against NYU, Dominican, and Stevens. They finally got on the board with a win over an improved North Park, and will look to keep the ball rolling against Aurora tomorrow night (2/3) .

  11. New York University: The Violets face off against Hunter College tonight in the city, before traveling to Springfield this weekend for the Morgan Classic. They’ll play Endicott Friday night, and either the winner/loser of Springfield vs Vassar Saturday.

  12. Nazareth: The Golden Flyers host upstate rival Elmira tonight in a battle of purple and gold. They’ll travel to PA this weekend for the Steel City Freeze Tournament, where they’ll face off against Wittenberg, Thiel, and Mount Union.

  13. Marymount: Another week of matches, another week of Raymond Tarasi hitting .500. Marymount has a tough test tonight against Stevenson, followed by a tri-match this weekend versus Misericordia and Elmira in PA.

  14. Fontbonne: The Griffins start the season strong with convincing sweeps against St. Norbert and Wisconsin Lutheran. Their first real test comes this weekend, as they travel to Iowa for the Loras invitational. I have their Sunday match versus Loras circled on my calendar.

  15. MIT: The Engineers start the year at 4-0, and face a grueling week. They’ll host last years NCAA runner up Benedictine on Friday (2/4) followed by their own tri-match with Stevens and Rivier on Saturday (2/5). Packed weekend for the Engineers.

  16. Loras: Coming off their upset of Benedictine, I’m still waiting for my “We Want ‘Bama” poster signed by the whole team! The Duhawks are gearing up for their invitational this weekend, where they can assert themselves in the midwest landscape with a win over Fontbonne. (I now know what a Duhawk is!)

  17. Rutgers-Newark: The Scarlet Raiders lost their chance to play Messiah last weekend due to the snow storm, but have a great oppurtunity this weekend to assert themselves in the CVC conversation. They’ll travel to Huntington for the Juniata tri-match, a win over the Eagles will remind everyone the core of Tuohy, Kuhmar, Quay, Chromanski, and Zalek is a line-up to respect.

  18. Endicott: A quiet start to the season will be quiet no more as the Gulls travel to Springfield for the Morgan Classic; the premier East Coast tournament. I’ll be in attendance for all the Friday night matches, and look forward to seeing the Gulls face off against NYU.

  19. Stevenson: The Mustangs break into our Top 20 after playing what feels like everybody to start the season. The Mustangs record is deceptive, as their only D3 losses to date have been to SVU and Dominican. They’ll look to play spoiler tonight as they square off against the red hot Marymount Saints; a FrogJump feature match.

  20. Messiah: I think it says a lot about the talent of this Falcons team to remain in our Top 20 despite starting the season 2-3. Losses to Southern Virginia and Juniata aren’t bad losses, and a corps of Knab, Nissley, Bowman, Givens and Hanzelman is going to win a lot of games. The Falcons were relentless from the service line last night, forcing Juniata to play at the pins (Duffy only had 8 swings the whole match); Hamm and Keul showed a lot of promise in their new roles in the lineup, giving Messiah more flexibility at Opposite and maximizing Knabs athleticism. The Falcons will look to right the ship against Immaculata tomorrow, and begin MAC play next week against Kings College (PA).

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