BEVERLY, Mass. - September 27, 2017 - At the near midway point of the 2017 regular season, MIT (15-0, 4-0 NEWMAC) claims top position in the first release of the New England Women's Volleyball Association (NEWVA) regional poll. The Engineers received three of a possible eight first place votes from the committee of eight head coaches that represent the eight New England conferences and independent NCAA Division III programs.
The second NEWVA regional poll will be released on Wednesday, October 4.
NEWVA REGIONAL POLL NO. 1
1. MIT (15-0, 4-0 NEWMAC) | 102 points | 3 first place votes
2. Tufts (8-4, 3-0 NESCAC) | 94 points | 2 first place votes
3. Johnson & Wales (R.I.) (14-0, 4-0 GNAC) | 92 points | 1 first place vote
4. Springfield (10-3, 2-2 NEWMAC) | 83 points
5. Wesleyan (Conn.) (9-1, 3-0 NESCAC) | 82 points
6. Babson (11-2, 4-0 NEWMAC) | 67 points
7. Middlebury (8-2, 2-0 NESCAC) | 66 points
8. Bowdoin (5-6, 2-1 NESCAC) | 48 points
T-9. Endicott (9-5, 3-0 CCC) | 39 points
T-9. Keene St. (15-0, 2-0 LEC) | 39 points
11. Wellesley (8-3, 5-0 NEWMAC) | 36 points
12. Clark (Mass.) (8-6, 3-2 NEWMAC) | 30 points
13. Roger Williams (8-6, 2-0 CCC) | 24 points
14. Wentworth (13-1, 2-1 CCC) | 15 points
15. Rivier (10-5, 3-1 GNAC) | 7 points
Also receiving votes: UMass Boston (6-7, 2-0 LEC), Brandeis (7-3, 0-0 UAA), Plymouth St. (10-5, 1-1 LEC)
THE TOP FIVE
1. MIT (14-0 overall, 4-0 NEWMAC), 102 points, three first place votes
The 2016 version of the MIT women's volleyball program went 10-0 against NEWMAC opponents during the regular season, won their conference title, and reached the Second Round of the NCAA New England Regional. This season appears to be no different as the Engineers are undefeated to this point in the year including wins over NEWVA-ranked opponents Springfield, Endicott, and Roger Williams.
2. Tufts (8-4 overall, 3-0 NESCAC), 94 points, two first place votes
Despite falling in the 2016 NESCAC Championship match, Tufts went on to win the NCAA New England Regional and advance into the NCAA Quarterfinals. That's where their season ended, losing in five sets to Southwestern (Texas). In 2017, Tufts has already established themselves as a contender to win the NESCAC's AQ with a 3-0 start in conference play. Tufts has also scored wins over NEWVA-ranked teams Clark and UMass Boston (ARV).
3. Johnson & Wales (R.I.) (14-0 overall, 4-0 GNAC), 92 points, one first place vote
In 2016, Johnson & Wales (R.I.) performed remarkably by winning their first 33 matches capped off by a four-set victory over Rivier in the GNAC Championship. The Wildcats qualified for the NCAA New England Regional tournament but suffered their lone loss of the season in the First Round. This year, JWU is back to their old tricks with an undefeated record. In fact, the Wildcats have dropped only one set in 2017 in a 3-1 triumph over NYU at the Kean Tournament.
4. Springfield (10-3 overall, 2-2 NEWMAC), 83 points
Springfield reached the 2016 NCAA New England Regional Final by beating Endicott and NEWMAC rival MIT in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively. In 2017, the Pride won their first six matches of the year, four of which came against NEWVA-ranked opponents Endicott and Rivier. Since then, Springfield has gone 4-3 with two losses coming against NEWMAC foes MIT and Coast Guard.
5. Wesleyan (Conn.) (9-1 overall, 3-0 NESCAC), 82 points
Wesleyan, over their eight matches of the 2017 season, failed to drop a set as they looked to improve upon their quarterfinal exit in last year's NESCAC Tournament. That streak included wins over conference rivals Williams, Hamilton, and Connecticut Col. The Cardinals then traveled to Virginia for the Christopher Newport Invitational and suffered their first loss at the hands of No. 9 Juniata before dropping the host No. 24 Christopher Newport in five sets.
No. 1 MIT (15-0, 4-0 NEWMAC) at No. 3 Johnson & Wales (R.I.) | Sept. 29 | 5:00 PM
No. 3 Johnson & Wales (R.I.) (14-0, 4-0 GNAC) vs No. 1 MIT | Sept. 29 | 5:00 PM
No. T-9 Keene St. (15-0, 2-0 LEC) at No. 12 Clark | Sept. 29 | 6:00 PM
* Rankings are the most recent NEWVA Regional rankings
CONFERENCE LEADERS IN THE POLL
Commonwealth Coast Conference
No. T-9 Endicott (9-5, 3-0 CCC) | NEWVA win over No. 14 Wentworth | Sept. 28 vs UMass-Boston (RV), 6:00 PM
Great Northeast Athletic Conference
No. 3 Johnson & Wales (R.I.) (14-0, 4-0 GNAC) | NEWVA wins over No. 15 Rivier | Sept. 29 vs No. 1 MIT, 5:00 PM
Little East Conference
No. T-9 Keene St. (15-0, 2-0 LEC) | NEWVA wins over No. 15 Rivier (2), Plymouth St. (RV) | Sept. 29 at No. 12 Clark, 6:00 PM
Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference
Worcester St. (8-6, 2-0 MASCAC) | Sept. 28 vs MCLA, 6:00 PM
North Atlantic Conference
Lyndon St. (1-7, 1-0 NAC) | Sept. 27 at Green Mountain, 7:00 PM
New England Collegiate Conference
Elms (7-6, 0-0 NECC) | Sept. 27 at Eastern Nazarene, 7:00 PM
New England Small College Athletic Conference
No. 5 Wesleyan (Conn.) (9-1, 3-0 NESCAC) | Sept. 29 vs Trinity (Conn.), 7:00 PM
New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference
No. 11 Wellesley (8-3, 5-0 NEWMAC) | NEWVA wins over No. T-9 Endicott, Brandeis (RV) | Sept. 28 vs Western New Eng., 7:00 PM