The MIVA had a mass exodus of teams on their way to the west coast this past week, but they step back into MIVA play this week to commence the league title race. A great way to kick things off once again is a meeting between the top team – Loyola Chicago – and one of the two loss teams – Lewis – among the top title contenders in the MIVA. Beyond that, Ohio State stays out of league play with a Ball State vs. Fort Wayne matchup also looming large to the final standings.
With new story-lines emerging and a new season of sorts in league play commencing, VolleyMob will be giving conference updates. Below is analysis as well as the weekly MIVA table, awards, matches of the week and power rankings:
|#6 Loyola Chicago||6-1||16-4|
|#7 Ohio State||6-2||13-4|
|#12 Ball State||4-2||11-9|
|#13 Fort Wayne||3-3||15-5|
MATCHES OF THE WEEK:
- Mar. 14: #12 Ball State at #13 Fort Wayne
- Mar. 16: #7 Ohio State at #17 Penn State
- Mar. 17: #7 Ohio State at #19 Saint Francis
- Mar. 17: #6 Loyola Chicago at #9 Lewis
- Mar. 17: #12 Ball State at #13 Fort Wayne
VOLLEYMOB MIVA POWER RANKINGS:
- Loyola Chicago
- Ohio State
- Ball State
- Fort Wayne
SECOND TIME FOR #1
- #6 Loyola Chicago & #9 Lewis
Ohio State is technically alone for second in the standings, but in terms of losses, Loyola Chicago would be first with Lewis tied for second – but has a home sweep of Ohio State. That means that the one-match week for both of these teams coming against each other will have plenty of implications in the league title race. If Lewis wins, the standings become a mess of two-loss teams where four or five teams are still in the running. Should Loyola Chicago earn the road victory, they would get the season sweep of Lewis and keep some separation atop the group table.
MEETING IN THE MIDDLE
- #12 Ball State & #13 Fort Wayne
Both of these teams play each other twice during the week, with a big effect on the middle of the standings. In the scenario just discussed where Lewis could defeat Loyola Chicago, Ball State could earn two wins over Fort Wayne and be tied at the top of the MIVA table. Fort Wayne could garner two and just be a match back after a 1-3 start. A split would keep both teams just a bit back, but may be the most likely scenario with two seemingly even opponents. If that changes though, it’s an opportunity for one of the teams to rise from the foreseen middle of the conference toward the top.