In an unusual set of circumstances involving a misinterpretation by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference league office, the Ashland volleyball team found itself preparing for the 2014 GLIAC tournament and, just hours later, the odd team out in a three-way tie between the Eagles, Hillsdale, and Ohio Dominican.
WRDL originally reported Saturday afternoon that AU qualified for the 2014 GLIAC Tournament after Ohio Dominican lost to Walsh. The GLIAC had listed Ashland as the 7 seed of the tournament in several places on the GLIAC website Saturday evening.
The GLIAC website then removed all mentions of the tournament seeds and games, and all previous press releases were also deleted from the GLIAC website. When a new release was written and a new bracket was created, the Eagles were nowhere to be found.
Hillsdale was originally the team amongst the three that did not qualify for the tournament. According to a Hillsdale press release, the change is due to, “a complex interpretation of a rare three-way tie.”
WRDL contacted Chris Roekle, GLIAC sports information director, for clarification on the tournament seeding and to request an interview with Commissioner Dell Robinson or Assistant Commissioner of Championships Danielle Harris on Monday morning’s Early Bird’s Word.
While the conference refused the interview request, WRDL did receive a very detailed explanation from Roekle. In the interest of accuracy, the entire explanation is listed below.
1. The GLIAC Office staff initially interpreted the GLIAC Volleyball Tiebreaker procedure for a three-way tie incorrectly. We initially saw the three-way tiebreaker as being separate from the two-way tiebreaker process (No. 1-5).
2. When we realized that the three-way tiebreaker procedure was an asterisk of No. 1 of the two-way tiebreaker, we realized that if there were no undefeated teams among those tied and there were no winless teams among those tied, we needed to go to No. 2 of the two-way tiebreaker process.
Initially we thought that if there were no undefeated teams among those tied and there were no winless teams among those tied, we should use winning percentage among those tied (head-to-head records). That is how we arrived at Ashland being the No. 7 seed (2-1), Ohio Dominican (1-1) as the No. 8 seed, and Hillsdale (1-2) as the No. 9 seed.
3. After realizing our error, we determined that since there were no undefeated teams among those tied and there were no winless teams among those tied, we needed to go to No. 2 of the two-way tiebreaker process, record versus highest ranked teams in descending order.
A. Since Hillsdale has a win (1-1) over the No. 3 seed, Findlay, it receives the No. 7 seed.
B. Since Ohio Dominican has a win (1-1) over the No. 6 seed, Malone, it received the No. 8 seed.
C. Since Ashland does not have a win over any of the top six seeds, it received the No. 9 seed and does not qualify for the tournament.
4. We apologize for this original misinterpretation of the tiebreaker procedure but are confident that we now it correct.
5. We do realize that the GLIAC Volleyball Tiebreaker procedures need more clarification and moving forward the GLIAC Office will work with the Coaches to achieve this goal as soon as possible.
WRDL will be reaching out to AU Volleyball Coach Cass Dixon for comment on the decision. Stay tuned to 88.9 WRDL and wrdlfm.com for updates on this story.