The final West Region conference we will look at with respect to graduation statistics loss will be the ASC. I will look at the Top 25 later this week and that post will include Mills College and UC Santa Cruz, as well. So far we’ve seen two conferences that will hold steady or improve in 2019 and one that is facing some upheaval. Keep reading to see how the ASC looks. As a reminder…
I’ve done this for a number of years now with some success. History has shown that a loss in total points of 45% or more is a good indicator that a team is going to suffer in the upcoming season.This is by no means ironclad because you never know what a team has sitting on the bench or what fantastic recruit may be coming in that can help right away but it’s typically a number to avoid. On the flip side, teams that lose 10% or less points will typically have an improved season. I will also share the 2017 data and how that impacted teams this past season. I include assists and digs in the statistics below but it always seems like teams are better prepared to overcome these losses.
Here is the chart showing the teams in the ASC with their 2018 records and their statistics loss in points, assists and digs.
|Sul Ross State||6-14||2.6%||0.3%||1.6%|
Overall, not too bad but HSU appears to be in some trouble next season. They lose their top 3 hitters, a setter and a ton of defense. The Cowgirls do have a large roster so there is hope that they have replacements on the bench but with both Concordia and UMHB returning pretty much their entire teams, it will be difficult for HSU to improve in 2019.
If it all goes according to plan, Belhaven will be a full DIII member next year. The bad news is that they struggled to a last place finish in the ASC East and lose the most statistics in the division.
McMurry had a nice season but a repeat is going to be difficult. Their big loss is Jasmine Jones but they have some interesting players on the bench and a number of contributors returning. I’d like to see them continue to upgrade their scheduling as they have a chance to be a long-term force in the ASC.
Howard Payne took a step back in 2018 and although they stay pretty much intact, they face another tough season just because their division is packed. It really will come down to Sul Ross State, Howard Payne and HSU trying to nudge into the top 3 and their 2019 recruits will probably make the difference.
Over to the East Division and second place ETBU will need help to make improvements next year. They had enough to hold off LeTourneau but it looks like it will be another tough fight for second in 2019.
The leaders in the East lose a really good player in Sydney Riordan but should retain the rest of their squad.UT-Dallas has a lot of quality depth on the team so another first place finish seems secure. But, to get past UMHB or claim an NCAA at-large bid (something the NCAA doesn’t seem to like to do) is going to require a little extra.Whether that comes from continued health or a stud recruit remains to be seen.
LeTourneau was a young team last season that faltered down the stretch losing 10 straight. More experience will help as this looks like a team that could take a step up next season. I don’t see them challenging UT-Dallas but things look bright at LETU.
Sul Ross State returns the bulk of their team after a surprise 6 win season. They are another program that I hope will be able to improve their scheduling as they have some nice players that deserve a chance to prove themselves.
Concordia will try to challenge UT-Dallas and UMHB next season as they are another team that is returning the bulk of their squad. I will be disappointed if they don’t win 20+ matches next year and personally insulted if they don’t improve their scheduling.
Louisiana College just finished their 2nd volleyball season and placed above Belhaven. They have no seniors so they should improve slightly. The trick with this new program is to continue to attract quality recruits.
UMHB was the top team in the ASC last season and return everyone. Yikes! Their season was ended by the eventual national champions in the Berry Regional Final. The Cru should continue their success and should be one of the top programs in the West Region.
Looking at the ASC as a whole and there is a lot to like. UMHB and UT-Dallas will again be regionally ranked. Concordia has a really good chance to be in the Top 8 in the West. Some of the teams that traditionally struggle are in position to improve next season, as well. Other than HSU, the ASC looks to be in a really good position to be snubbed once again for an NCAA at-large bid. (Sorry…couldn’t resist.)
Now, let’s take a look at the statistics loss in 2017:
|Sul Ross State||3-24||12.0%||8.8%||23.6%|
There wasn’t a lot of statistics loss going into last season in the ASC. LeTourneau slipped a bit with their record but they have a lot of young talent ready to step up next year. Belhaven stumbled a bit as did Howard Payne but 2018 was really about the ASC just getting deeper and being more difficult to play. My big worry going into 2018 was UMHB and who they would get to replace their setter, but a transfer setter solved that issue.
I’ll look at the Top 25 teams nex tbut for the West Region, three of the four conferences will be tougher in 2019 than they were this past season.