INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Randolph-Macon women's volleyball now knows where it will travel to play in the 2017 NCAA Tournament – Owings Mills, Maryland. It will face Swarthmore in the first round at 12:30 PM on Friday, November 10.
After winning its third Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship in as many years, the team was ensured the automatic qualifier out of the ODAC and into the tournament. Outside of the AQ, its resume for the tourney has been impressive so far this year – impressive enough that the team ranks fourth in the South region. The rest of the top teams in the south region – Emory, Berry and Birmingham-Southern are all playing in Atlanta. Emory is hosting a regional, taking on Worcester St. while Berry and BSC play Covenant and Hanover respectively in the same part of the bracket. Emory has been ranked in the AVCA top 10 at points during the season.
Randolph-Macon has also received votes into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 poll -- being just outside of the poll in the latest edition. In addition to competing against the regionally ranked schools, R-MC has also played nationally-ranked Juniata, Mary Washington and Johns Hopkins. JHU is also in R-MC's bracket.
Randolph-Macon is in the bracket with strongly ranked ranked teams Carnegie Mellon (#1) and host Stevenson (#2). Swarthmore is ranked 7th in the Mid-Atlantic region and finished the season 21-7 and 8-2 in the Centennial Conference. The Garnet lost in the Centennial's Tournament final to JHU. In addition to Swarthmore, Carnegie Mellon, Stevenson and JHU, the field includes Kean, Hunter and Eastern. Against the rest of the field in its regional, R-MC is 6-8. Randolph-Macon has never played against Swarthmore.
2017 marks the fourth year in a row that Randolph-Macon has won the ODAC Regular season title, the third year in a row the team has been undefeated in ODAC play as well as third year in a row that the team has won the ODAC Tournament crown. Last year, Randolph-Macon played Stevenson in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, beating the Mustangs 3-1 in Fredericksburg. In the second round, the team faced host Mary Washington, losing 3-0 to end its tournament run. It will be the third year in a row that R-MC will be in the NCAA Tournament. In 2015, R-MC were the regional finalists out of the Galloway, New Jersey regional. They competed in the NCAA Elite Eight in Grand Rapids, losing to Carthage 3-0 in that match.