Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Lack of Rest and Respect


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
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1. Lack of Rest and Respect

by Steph Yang, The Athletic

"For three weekends in a row, NCAA Division III championship (soccer) teams were asked to play back-to-back-games. In Rounds 1 and 2, teams either played November 13th and 14th or the 14th and 15th. Rounds 3 and 4 (quarterfinals) were November 19th and 20th or the 20th and 21st. The semifinals were on December 3rd. The final was the very next day. 

Add that to the following: DI and DII soccer tournaments have (and have always had) rest days; A request to the NCAA for one rest day between the DIII semifinal and final was turned down.

Now, DIII coaches are speaking out, saying their players aren’t accorded the same consideration as DI and DII athletes in the championship tournament, and that this runs directly counter to the NCAA’s own mission statement to enhance the student-athlete experience and protect their safety."

>> Field Awareness: "College soccer in any division is already a grind; William Smith College head coach Aliceann Wilber's team played 16 regular season games between September 1 and October 30. These games mostly had rest days in between, but that’s still 16 games in 60 days, or a game every 3.75 days on average. They then played two conference championship games, again back-to-back, to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA championship, then a further three NCAA championship games from November 13 to 20. Their Round 3 game was at 3:30 PM on November 20, and their quarterfinal game was at 3 PM on November 21 – less than a 24-hour turnaround in a championship knockout tournament."

>> TITLE: "After years of hearing from their DIII members that this was a problem, United Soccer Coaches decided to try and take matters into their own hands for the 2021 DIII soccer tournament. They offered to pay any associated cost of adding a rest day, putting forth $20,000 for the NCAA to pay for things like hotel rooms, food, and transportation. They admittedly came to this decision late in the year, sending a request for a rest day on November 8, less than a month before the title game. The NCAA denied the request in a response sent on November 13, citing the lack of a prohibition on back-to-back competition days in DIII, concerns about missed class time, and the DIII Championship Committee’s discussion of the matter being delayed due to COVID-19."

>> Quotable: “It was something that our soccer coaches and as well as other sport committees have been looking at,” said Louise McCleary, the NCAA DIII vice president. “The last time they made the official recommendation (for a day of rest) was in February of 2019, that it will be discussed this February with our Championships Committee. With the idea that then it would go through our governance structure, and the earliest that we could implement a day off would be starting with the 2022-23 season.”

>> What They're Saying: “So in Division III, the NCAA is looking at well, if you do this for men’s and women’s soccer, we need to do it for (DIII) men’s and women’s lacrosse, we need to do it for men’s and women’s volleyball, and on and on,” said Wilber. “And so that’s been a rationale that is put in front of coaches and programs all the time.”

>> The Final Word: “I think the bottom line is we just want them to care,” said TCNJ retiring head coach Joe Russo.

>> Continue Reading ($)


2. All-Americans

Erin Nicholas, Middlebury | photo by Will Costello

Forty-eight (48) Division III athletes have been recognized by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) as All-Americans for their performances during the 2021 season.

Four athletes — Abby Birk from Johns Hopkins, Kristiina Castagnola from Rowan, Jackie Lerro from Lynchburg, and Bre Socker from St. John Fisher — were selected as All-Americans for the second time in their careers. Erin Nicholas from Middlebury received All-American recognition for the third time.

First Team
GK-Sara Amil, Washington and Lee
D-Jessica Ascencao, New Paltz
D-Molly Gorczyca, Rowan
M-Abby Asuncion, Christopher Newport
M-Abby Birk, Johns Hopkins
M-Kristiina Castagnola, Rowan
M-Tess Muneses, Washington and Lee
M-Erin Nicholas, Middlebury
M-Sophie Schoeni, Tufts
F-Maddie Brown-Scherer, Johns Hopkins
F-Caelin Flaherty, Trinity
F-Paige Forester, MIT
F-Katie George, Middlebury
F-Faith Jennings, Bowdoin
F-Amanda Strenk, Rochester
F-Jennie Young, Messiah

>> Complete List


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3.  Still The One

If you have the nation's longest winning streak - that's all NCAA Divisions - at 54 games, then it should come as no surprise that Hope received all 25 first-place votes again in this week's women's basketball poll.

Longest Winning Streaks (all Divisions)
  • 54, Hope women (DIII)
  • 49, Yeshiva men (DIII)
  • 27, Christopher Newport women (DIII)
  • 21, Alaska Anchorage women (DII)
  • 17, Eckerd women (DII)
  • 15, Baylor men (DI)
  1. Hope (25), 9-0
  2. Whitman, 9-0
  3. John Carroll, 7-0
  4. Amherst, 7-0
  5. UW-Whitewater, 8-0
  6. Christopher Newport, 10-0
  7. Trine, 7-1
  8. UW-Eau Claire, 9-1
  9. DePauw, 9-0
  10. Simpson, 7-1

>> Ladders: NYU jumped seven spots to No. 15. 
>> Chutes: Wartburg fell eight slots to No. 13, while Hardin-Simmons dropped six spots to No. 20.
  • In: Bates, Springfield
  • Out: Messiah, Scranton
>> We're Baaaaack: Bates (No. 22) makes its first appearance in the poll since the 2005 preseason listing, while Springfield returns (No. 24) for the first time since Dec. 12, 2005.
  • Saturday: No. 1 Hope at No. 7 Trine; No. 3 John Carroll vs. Marietta

>> Complete Poll

4.   Tight at the Top

Yeshiva and Randolph-Macon are separated by just two points in the latest men's basketball poll. The Maccabees picked up 13 of the 25 first-place ballots, while the Yellow Jackets received 10. Undefeated UW-Platteville garnered the remaining two firsts and is just 21 points behind Yeshiva.

The Maccabees have won 49 straight games and are just 11 away from the all-time DIII record (60) set by Potsdam State from the first game of the 1985-86 season to March 14, 1987.

  1. Yeshiva (13), 13-0
  2. Randolph-Macon (10), 8-1
  3. UW-Platteville (2), 11-0
  4. Illinois Wesleyan, 7-1
  5. UW-Oshkosh, 9-1
  6. Wheaton, Ill., 9-1
  7. St. Joseph, Conn., 8-0
  8. Marietta, 5-2
  9. UW-La Crosse, 8-2
  10. Roanoke, 6-1
>> On the Move: UW-La Crosse jumped four spots to No. 9. Mary Hardin-Baylor fell out of the top 10 from No. 9 to No. 19.
  • Welcome: Heidelberg, Hardin-Simmons
  • Bye-Bye: Trine, Emory

>> Coming Up
  • Tonight: No. 8 Marietta vs. Otterbein.
  • Saturday: No. 19 Mary Hardin-Baylor vs. LeTourneau. 
  • Sunday: No. 4 Illinois Wesleyan at No. 15 Washington, Mo.; No. 10 Roanoke at Wartburg

    5.   Fall Rankings

    The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) has released its end-of-fall-season individual singles and doubles rankings.


    • Singles: Stan Morris (Middlebury), Chase Cohen (Williams), Jhonny Acosta (NC Wesleyan)
    • Doubles: Peter Frelinghuysen/Matthew Kandel (Williams), Christian Settles/Hao Nguyen (Trinity, Texas), Nathan Arimilli/Philip Martin (Claremont-M-S)

    Atlantic South

    • Singles: Acosta (NC Wesleyan), Thomas Yu (Johns Hopkins), Jordan Theron (Methodist)
    • Doubles: Andrew Esses/Sahil Raina (Emory), Moses Hutchison/Andrew Watson (Mary Washington), Cole Tecce/Peter Leese (Mary Washington)
    • Singles: James Hopper (Case Western Reserve), Ansh Shah (CWRU), John Zalowski (UW-Whitewater)
    • Doubles: Hopper/Jonathan Powell (CWRU), Zakowski/Alex Gray (UW-Whitewater), Abhi Ramireddy/Daniel Li (Washington, Mo.)


    • Singles: Morris (Middlebury), Cohen (Williams), John Rado (Skidmore)
    • Doubles: Frelinghuysen/Kandel (Williams), Noah Laber/Aidan Harris (Middlebury), Noah Williamson/Alper Kulturel (Skidmore)
    • Singles: Robert Liu (CMS), Cameron Krimbill (Trinity, Texas), Luke Lemaitre (George Fox)
    • Doubles: Settles/Nguyen (Trinity, Texas), Arimilli/Martin (CMS), Lemaitre/Will Leach (George Fox)

    >> Complete Men's Rankings


    • Singles: Eliza McPherron (Emory), Sahana Raman (Middlebury), Nina Ye (Pomona-Pitzer)
    • Doubles: Dakota Fordham/Carol Plakk (New York U.), Shianna Guo/Sylwia Mikos (Chicago), Elle Christensen/Tilly Rigby (Tufts)

    Atlantic South

    • Singles: McPherron (Emory), Kristal Dule (NC Wesleyan), Crystal Zhou (Carnegie Mellon)
    • Doubles: Lindy Cornwall/Bin Zheng (Carnegie Mellon), Zhou/Ava Givone (Carnegie Mellon), Xuanjin Li/Alexa Goetz (Emory)
    • Singles: Mikos (Chicago), Sabrina Tang (Grinnell), Mary Hose (Carleton)
    • Doubles: Guo/Mikos (Chicago), Daria Beshentseva/Victoria Vazquez (Kenyon), Autumn Bruno/Cassandra Lee (UW-Whitewater)


    • Singles: Raman (Middlebury), Fordham (NYU), Plakk (NYU)
    • Doubles: Fordham/Plakk (NYU), Christensen/Rigby (Tufts), Sasha Gaeth/Kristina Yu (Wesleyan)
    • Singles: Ye (Pomona-Pitzer), Angie Zhou (Pomona-Pitzer), Suzuka Nishino (Texas-Dallas)
    • Doubles: Zhou/Marissa Markey (Pomona-Pitzer), Gabby Lee/Crystal Juan (CMS), Alli Ziehm/Emma Kesterson (Southwestern)

    >> Complete Women's Rankings

      6.  Comings and Goings
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