I don’t want to repeat the entire write-up I did regarding statistics loss so please check out my first post on this topic (with the SCAC), which you can find here. This post is specific to the SCIAC.
Here is the chart showing the teams in the SCIAC with their 2017 records and their statistics loss due to graduation in points, assists and digs.
It’s definitely too soon to say the King is Dead, but those are some serious losses to the 2017 Champions. The majority of their hitting, setting and right at half of their defense will be graduating. I’ll show the 2016 statistics below, but this is worse than what Cal Lutheran faced last year and we saw the drop that occurred with that squad this past season. CMS has a pair of really good middles that were freshmen and two sophomore pin hitters that contributed a bit so a foundation does exist to recover. Occidental was a real pesky team this season but they also lose over half of their hitting next season (including leading hitter Claire Stohm). I would be less confident in a recovery here. Cal Lutheran faces their second straight season with major losses. This past season they struggled early but found their stride later in the year. It will be interesting to see how they cope in 2018. La Verne overcame significant losses last season and came out strong in 2017. This season’s losses should be more manageable, but losing Marisa Rojo hurts. Jumping to the bottom of the list, I’m not sure anyone ever plays Caltech volleyball their senior year. This is the second season in a row where they return the most statistics in the SCIAC. Redlands should be positioned for a better season but they did lose their last 10 so they’ll need some additional help. Pomona-Pitzer needs to replace a setter but should also be in position for a better season. Whittier sits just outside my 10% threshold but their surprise 2017 season looks repeatable. Chapman also had an improved season and their losses seem manageable but the big hit here is Kylie Cooke.
Here were the SCIAC statistics losses in 2016:
Cal Lutheran was helped in 2017 with a junior transfer at middle and improvement from their existing players but still had a down season for them. The Regals started the year at 4-8 before ending the year on a 12-4 run. The slow start was a combination of tough opponents but also the trouble teams tend to face early in the year when they have experienced high turnover. La Verne also had a drop this past season but not as significant as the statistics would have implied. They had a couple of transfers if memory serves but they really overcame the graduation statistics loss with improvement to their existing team. Whittier was the poster child as to why statistics lie. A 38.2% points loss is certainly something a team can overcome but coming off a 9-18 record with that much statistics loss, the best you are really hoping for is a slightly better record. The main reasons for their surprise season can be traced to their excellent freshman Ashley Whittall and their transfer OH Makenzie Thieme. Those two players alone accounted for 742.5 points, which was over half of the total loss in 2016. (Note – Whittier also lost underclassmen from their 2016 team which resulted in even more statistics loss – 57.9%! Just shows how amazing their season was this past year.) The Redlands team was interesting because they really had a tough 2017 season when maybe they shouldn’t have. A deeper look shows they lost an important underclassman and really had a young team this past year. The under 10% crowd all did a little better in 2017. Caltech got their first ever SCIAC conference win, Chapman finished in a tie for third and Occidental had an improved record.
Looking at scheduling for 2018 and CMS appears to be in the same boat that we saw Trinity and Southwestern in over in the SCAC. A good team to face early in the season but that will probably get better as the season goes along. Occidental is probably a team that is heading for a fall in 2018 and probably one to avoid if you are concerned about SOS. Cal Lutheran and La Verne are wildcards to me. I probably would have written them off in 2017 but both would have helped your SOS. Chapman and Whittier look like they should be able to stay where they are this upcoming season, if not improve. The rest of the SCIAC looks to be getting better.