Beach Volleyball Tournament Projections: FIU Rising, Stetson Falling

  0 Jared Anderson | April 18th, 2017 | ASUN Conference, Beach, Big West, CCSA, College - Beach, Division II, Division III, News, Pac-12, West Coast Conference

We’re revisiting last week’s NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament invite and seeding projections, factoring in the results of last weekend’s slate of matches. Florida International is on the move after wins over tourney hopefuls Stetson and Grand Canyon, while Stetson went 2-3 over the weekend, putting its projected tournament bid in precarious position.


The National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Committee will select the 8 teams in a two-step process:

Step 1: Regional Bids

The committee will select the top 3 teams from the East Region along with the top three teams from the West Region. Here are the selection criteria for those bids, direct from the NCAA pre-championships manual:

Selection criteria for regional bids into the championship:

  • Record versus regional opponents
  • Head-to-head competition
  • Results versus common opponents
  • Strength of schedule
  • Overall record (must be .500 or above)

You can find the regional divides of all eligible institutions in the pre-championships manual linked above.

Step 2: At-Large Bids

The final two spots will be filled by at-large bids for teams from either region. Here are the criteria for those bids:

Selection criteria for at-large bid into the championship:

  • Head-to-head competition
  • Results versus common opponents
  • Strength of schedule
  • Overall record (must be .500 or above)

Those 8 teams will then be seeded. Regional bids are not guaranteed to be seeded higher than at-large bids, so the at-large bids are not necessarily teams #7 and #8.


We’ve included the programs within each region ranked inside the top 15 in the latest AVCA ranks:


  1. USC (25-0)
  2. Pepperdine (21-3)
  3. UCLA (25-2)
  4. Long Beach State (23-5)
  5. Hawaii (23-5)
  6. Arizona (13-8)
  7. Grand Canyon (15-8)

UCLA and USC didn’t play, but Pepperdine further secured the #2 spot in the West by handing Florida State its first home loss ever. Pepperdine did split with FSU over the weekend, but that loss comes outside the West and doesn’t matter for regional berths.

Long Beach State did all it could, going 2-0 vs Cal Poly and Loyola Marymount. Hawaii beat St. Mary’s twice. Grand Canyon played outside the West, beating East tournament contender Stetson but losing to low-ranked Florida International. They also lost to powerhouse FSU.


  1. Florida State (21-7)
  2. LSU (22-5)
  3. Stetson (17-13)
  4. Georgia State (19-12)
  5. South Carolina (21-7)
  6. Florida International (20-12) – up 1
  7. TCU (16-8) – down 1
  8. Florida Atlantic (18-9)

Stetson went into free fall in the AVCA rankings, dropping from 9th to 13th and watching three East teams leapfrog them: #9 Georgia State, #10 Florida International and #12 South Carolina. But despite losses last weekend to FIU, Grand Canyon and Pepperdine, Stetson still has a 17-5 record in the east that tops all three of the closest challengers for the third spot.

Florida International had the biggest win of the weekend, topping Stetson 3-2. FIU also pulled both Florida State and Pepperdine to tight 2-3 matches. Keep an eye on the Panthers, who could make a late run to a tourney bid with CCSA Tournament matches coming up against South Carolina and FSU.

LSU and South Carolina went 4-0 against mostly unranked teams. Georgia State went 3-1 with wins over ULM, Spring Hill and Texas A&M Kingsville, but lost 2-3 to LSU.


  1. Long Beach State (23-5)
  2. Hawaii (23-5)
  3. Arizona (13-8)
  4. Florida International (20-12) – up 4
  5. Georgia State (19-12) – up 1
  6. South Carolina (21-7) – up 1
  7. Grand Canyon (15-8) – down 3

Long Beach State and Hawaii have done exactly what they needed to, beating beatable teams. FIU is the team on the rise after beating GCU and Stetson. They could make at at-large bid or even a regional bid if they play well against South Carolina and FSU in the CCSA Tournament.

Grand Canyon doesn’t really have a signature win and has lost 5 of their last 6, with the lone win coming against another falling team, Stetson.


  1. USC (West)
  2. Pepperdine (West)
  3. UCLA (West)
  4. Florida State (East)
  5. Long Beach State (At-Large)
  6. Hawaii (At-Large)
  7. LSU (East)
  8. Stetson (East)


There aren’t many matches left that could significantly shake up these projections, but here are the remaining impact matches for teams in the tournament mix:

(This week’s matchups listed in bold)

  • Long Beach State @ USC – 4/20
  • Georgia State @ LSU – 4/21
  • UCLA @ USC – 4/22
  • Florida State, LSU, Georgia State and South Carolina in the CCSA Tournament – 4/21-23
  • Pepperdine in the West Coast Conference Tournament – 4/21-22
  • USC, UCLA, Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament – 4/27-28
  • Long Beach State, Hawaii in the Big West Tournament – 4/28-29

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