EIVA Tournament: Possible seeding scenarios, postseason berths

Photo courtesy of Princeton athletics

Two weeks remain in the EIVA regular season, and the seeding scenarios are still wide open for the EIVA Tournament.

The EIVA Tournament is the toughest conference tournament to make in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball. Unlike other conferences where all or the overwhelming majority of teams make the postseason, only the top four teams in the EIVA make its tournament.

The EIVA regular season championship also gets to serve as the host site for the entire conference tournament — both the semifinals and finals.

Check out the current standings and the possible seeding scenarios for the EIVA teams remaining in postseason contention.

EIVA standings

Team EIVA Overall MB
1. Princeton 9-1 11-12
2. Penn State 8-2 12-12 -1
T-3. George Mason 7-3 14-7 -2
T-3. St. Francis 7-3 13-11 -2
5. Harvard 5-5 6-12 -4
e-6. NJIT 2-8 7-13 -7
e-7. Sacred Heart 1-9 3-13 -8
e-8. Charleston 1-9 8-16 -8

LEGEND
x – Clinched postseason berth
z – Clinched conference regular season title and home court for conference tournament
e – Eliminated from postseason contention.

Princeton

Remaining matches: vs. Harvard, vs. Sacred Heart, vs. St. Francis, vs. Penn State

As long as Princeton defeats Penn State on April 13, it needs to win just one more match to clinch the No. 1 seed in the EIVA Tournament. Even with a loss to Penn State, Princeton can earn the head-to-head tiebreaker if it forces the match to a fifth game or loses in four games by a combined margin of six or fewer points. It can clinch the top seed before that regular season finale against Penn State by winning its three remaining matches. Princeton can clinch a spot in the EIVA Tournament if it beats its rival Harvard on Friday or any of its other remaining matches.

Penn State

Remaining matches: vs. Charleston, vs. George Mason, at NJIT, at Princeton

Penn State holds the tiebreaker over St. Francis (won both matches). However, George Mason swept Penn State in February so for the Nittany Lions to earn that tiebreaker they would have to sweep the Patriots on Saturday by combined margin of more than 17 points. Penn State is three matches clear of fifth-place Harvard and hold the tiebreaker. Either a win or a Harvard loss clinches a EIVA Tournament bid for Penn State.

George Mason

Remaining matches: at St. Francis, at Penn State, at Harvard (2x)

George Mason can clinch an EIVA Tournament berth by winning two of its final four matches and a Harvard loss. It could also make the postseason losing three of its final four matches as long as that one win is against Harvard and they finish that two-match series with the tiebreaker over the Crimson. George Mason needs to win out and have Princeton lose three of its final four matches to have a chance at the EIVA regular season title and the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament.

St Francis

Remaining matches: vs. George Mason, vs. Charleston, at Princeton, at NJIT

St. Francis already defeated George Mason this season and can secure the head-to-head tiebreaker it extends the upcoming match against George Mason on Friday to at least four games and lose by a combined margin of less than 14 points. The Red Flash can also clinch an EIVA Tournament berth if it wins two of their four remaining matches. St. Francis is the only EIVA team to have defeated Princeton this year and the two teams play again in the final week of the season. If the Red Flash could potentially still win the EIVA regular season championship and No. 1 seed for the conference tournament if they win all their remaining matches and the Tigers lose two matches.

Harvard

Remaining matches: at Princeton, at NJIT, vs. George Mason (2x)
The defending conference champion still has a chance of making the EIVA Tournament. Harvard can clinch a berth by winning its four remaining matches, which would include sweeping a two-match series against George Mason next week. It could lose one match this weekend and be in postseason contention but would need George Mason or St. Francis to also drop matches. Harvard already holds the tiebreaker over St. Francis (games won).