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FrogJump Top 20: D3 Review (Preseason)

The FrogJump Top 20 is our Power Ranking of the DIII Men’s Volleyball Landscape. Our algorithm uses a host of different variables, including the cumulative statistics of D3VB men’s programs throughout a season. This allows us to reflect 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. This is where things stand to start the year, get after it!

  1. Carthage: The reigning national champions begin the year atop our power ranking. Despite losing Slivinski and Cohan, the Firebirds return four of their first seven from last years championship squad.  They’ll begin the season with an exhibition against Indiana Tech before playing against Purdue Fort Wayne on ESPN +.

  2. Springfield: Last years runner up, the Pride begin this year at #2 in our power ranking. They’ll face off in a D1/III crossover match against St. Francis – Brooklyn, and follow this up with matches versus Hope and Vanguard. Their first DIII match will occur January 21st against St. Josephs Long Island College.

  3. Wentworth: Fresh off last years final four appearance, the Leopards start this year at #3 in our model. Jacob LaBouliere remains the tallest outside in the D3VB landscape and there’s really not that much competition in that regard. The Leopards begin their season against Emmanuel on January 17th, and will face off against Nazareth and reigning UVC champion St. John Fisher on January 20th.

  4. Stevens: The reigning MAC champions come in at #4, and were recently voted the #1 team in their conference again. They’ll play Marymount for their season opener on January 14th, followed up by a tri-match with St. John Fisher and St. Joseph’s Long Island the following day.

  5. Rutgers Newark: The raiders round out our top 5 to start the year. Andrew Zaleck and Danny Quay will look to help the Raiders assert domincance in the Garden State, as they begin their season with matches against Rampo (January 17th) and New Jersey City University (January 24th).

  6. North Central: The Cardinals return a loaded squad after last years NCAA tournament campaign. Cardenas, Moser, and Miller are the key cogs in Exlines offense, and he’ll need them all in top shape as they look to make a statement in their home opener against number 7 on our list. Couldn’t think of a better reason to come out for a visit, so consider me Midwest bound for that match!

  7. SUNY New Paltz: My hometown Hawks begin the season on the road, as they head to the Midwest to begin their season. They’ll play the Illinois Institute of Technology, Dominican, and Benedictine before taking on North Central on January 20th.

  8. Vassar: Another one of my hometown favorites, the Brewers were voted the best team in the UVC to start the season and will be looking to make a statement after last year. They’ll have their chance soon enough, as they open their season with a tri-match against Elms and #4 Stevens on the 21st.

  9. St. John Fisher College: The reigning UVC Champions come in at #9, and have a lot to prove following their early tournament exit to Wentworth last year. They’ll begin their year against Misericordia on January 14th.

  10. Juniata: The Golden Eagles start the year being voted the best team in their conference, and round out the top 10 of our preseason power ranking. They’ll host D1 Merrimack for their season opener on January 13th, and begin DIII play against Nichols and SUNY Poly on the 20th.

  11. Dominican: The River Forest Roofing company returns this year after an elite eight appearance in last years NCAA Tournament. They open the season with an exhibition against St. Xavier University on January 17th, before hosting my hometown Hawks for their DIII opener on the 19th.

  12. Messiah: The falcons were two points shy of claiming the top spot in the MAC preseason coaches poll, and sit just outside our top 10 to start the year (I expect them to crack that threshold shortly). They begin the season hosting Marymount on the 18th, before traveling to Ohio to take on last years MCVL champion Mount Union on the 26th.

  13. Southern Virginia: It’s a new era at Southern Virginia, as the Knights finally bid adieu to program greats Nahuel Reccabaren and Kaipo Tagaloa. The Knights will kick off their season against Penn State Altoona on the 20th, followed by Lancaster Bible on the 21st.

  14. Marymount: The Saints were one of last seasons biggest surprises, and culminated 2022 with an at-large bid selection and NCAA Tournament appearance. Their 2023 season kicks off on January 13th, when they hit the road to take on the Stevens Ducks.

  15. Loras: What is a Duhawk!? Who is even on their roster!? The breakout program of the Midwest last year comes in at #15 to start 2023. They start the season with an exhibition against Clarke University on the 17th before heading to Ohio for the Baldwin Wallace Invitational on the 21st.

  16. Lasell: The Lasers caught the nations attention when they upset Springfield at home last year, and were recently voted the 2nd best team in the GNAC preseason poll. They’ll travel to Quincy, Massachusetts for a tri-match with MIT and Eastern Nazarene to begin their year.

  17. St. Joseph’s Long Island: Coach Kropps Golden Eagles shocked the world in 2023, defeating Southern Virginia in the NCAA Tournament for a berth to the Elite Eight. They’ll get a chance to pick up where they left off, as they take on Stevens (the team who bounced them from the tournament) in their home opener.

  18. Stevenson: The Mustangs had more wins over top 5 programs than any other team left out of the NCAA tournament, and they have the talent to make some noise again this year. They start the year on the road, traveling to PSU-Behrend on the 19th before heading to play Mount Union on the 20th. #Rollstangs

  19. Benedictine: Head Coach Katarzynski takes over a team fresh off an NACC finals appearance. They’ll have a chance to make some noise as they host New Paltz in their season opener on the 19th (I’ll be there in spirit! Sadly my flight won’t land until after the game).

  20. Fontbonne: The Griffins round out our top 20 to begin the year, and will be looking to assert dominance following their shocking loss to Mount Union in the MCVL final last season. Their road to redemption begins in sunny California, as they head to UC Santa Cruz to take on North Park, Illinois Wesleyan, Cal Lutheran, and the hometown Banana Slugs.

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