Statistics Loss – Top 25+

Update #1 – Because I didn’t make it clear…this post covers the teams outside of the West Region. There are four posts on the site that cover each of the West Region conferences.

Update #2 – As I wrote “Update #1”, I realized I forgot Mills College and UC Santa Cruz. I was going to put them in this post. Sigh. Jump down to the bottom to see their statistics loss. 

Looking at the graduating statistics loss for the 2018 Top 25 (and selected others) is like a Christmas gift for me.I never know what each wrapped present will unveil. Do I get a glimpse of that big yellow Tonka trunk I wanted when I was 5-years old (JWU) or a lump of coal (Gustavus Adolphus) or even two lumps of coal (Illinois Wesleyan). And then there are the stocking stuffers that are interesting for a few moments and then promptly forgotten as you munch down on a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Like, did you know JWU (RI) lost two matches all year – their first and their last? Or Bowdoin’s mascot is the Polar Bear? Not sure why I didn’t know that but it’s cool.When it’s all over you have a ton of stuff on the floor and you have to make sense of it all and that’s really what we have in the following chart.

Team Record Pts Lost Assists Digs
Illinois Wesleyan 27-6 71.4% 54.3% 62.3%
Gustavus Adolphus 27-3 59.7% 92.6% 58.0%
St. Thomas 25-9 54.9% 76.2% 17.9%
Wash-St. Louis 26-8 51.7% 2.1% 28.3%
Carnegie Mellon 24-11 49.3% 3.4% 31.6%
Wis-Oshkosh 17-15 46.7% 3.4% 30.9%
Emory 30-6 46.7% 85.2% 31.0%
MIT 25-5 44.3% 94.1% 57.8%
Hope 25-8 41.5% 3.9% 23.5%
Wittenberg 25-3 40.8% 83.7% 51.2%
Saint Benedict 26-8 35.9% 3.5% 34.3%
Aurora 26-9 35.6% 83.2% 49.9%
Northwestern 23-9 34.8% 5.5% 44.9%
Berry 26-4 34.7% 2.5% 23.7%
Wis-Eau Claire 33-4 32.3% 87.2% 34.8%
Chicago 29-5 30.8% 1.5% 16.8%
Ithaca 21-8 29.2% 6.9% 44.7%
Stevenson 23-12 29.2% 1.5% 6.4%
Calvin 33-2 28.9% 10.0% 45.4%
Wis-Whitewater 25-8 23.5% 13.9% 41.1%
Babson 26-9 23.2% 8.9% 33.3%
Wis-La Crosse 16-13 22.9% 1.8% 17.8%
Juniata 28-4 20.5% 51.6% 43.0%
Millikin 16-19 19.9% 0.3% 4.3%
Johns Hopkins 22-8 18.1% 15.8% 30.7%
Bowdoin 29-2 17.0% 6.8% 33.1%
Wesleyan 20-6 10.9% 1.5% 14.1%
Ohio Northern 22-8 9.7% 1.9% 9.8%
Chris Newport 26-6 9.4% 7.4% 27.9%
Carthage 21-11 7.3% 2.3% 4.7%
Thomas More 33-4 6.1% 73.2% 12.2%
Swarthmore 14-10 4.3% 10.3% 33.0%
Johnson & Wales (RI) 33-2 1.6% 0.9% 7.2%

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.

…done reminding.

I’m certainly not going through each team as I have done on my previous posts but there is enough here to make some astute observations. Failing that, here are my observations.

That’s 7 teams above the magical 45% mark but I’m not sure if I’ll get too worked up over Washington-St. Louis or Emory. They always seem to have plenty ready to go the next season. Illinois Wesleyan is going to feel the pain next year. That’s just too much to give up in one year. Gustavus Adolphus and even St. Thomas should be in trouble, too.

MIT is just under the mark but combined with the graduation of their setter and the defense walking out the door, they should be hurting in 2019, too. It will be interesting to compare them with Wittenberg as they have similar losses.

Calvin losses Anna Kamp and,assuming there is not another baby Kamp in the pipeline, my best guess is that the Knights will fold and the program disbanded. (FYI – Anna is the fifth Kamp to play for Calvin and the fourth to win AVCA DIII Player of the Year.)

I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising that the best teams in DIII seem to all be losing players at a good clip this year. I mean you do need those stud seniors to make a run.

For the under 10% crowd, you have to like Thomas More if they can replace their setter and, of course, JWU (RI) who will be making another run at it this time with a number of seniors. And don’t sleep on Carthage in 2019. I’m still not sure they deserved their at-large bid based on the criteria but they did based on my eyes. They should be even stronger next year.

One thing that jumped out at me as I was compiling these numbers (and it’s not shown in the charts) was how close kills and attack errors are when you lose a hitter. What I mean is that when I see a team is losing 26% of their kills, most of the time they are also losing 26% of their attack errors. Now, this will vary slightly but usually within 5% of each other. Some teams where this trend didn’t hold up were Pacific Lutheran(losing 57% kills and 47% errors), Juniata (20.7% kills and 11.3% errors) and Saint Benedict (35.2% kills and 50.9% errors). In the first two cases, their losses are compounded by the fact that their graduating hitters were very efficient. In the case of Saint Benedict, it hurts to lose the kills but kind of nice to drop half of the teams attack errors, too.

Here is what I have from 2017:

Team Record Pts Lost Assists Digs
Millikin 29-8 58.9% 80.5% 66.6%
Swarthmore 24-8 51.7% 78.0% 35.6%
Wis-La Crosse 22-7 47.9% 92.9% 70.7%
St. Thomas 25-7 47.5% 0.8% 9.7%
Wis-Whitewater 22-8 44.0% 2.2% 17.4%
Northwestern 34-7 42.5% 62.5% 64.3%
Carthage 27-9 41.3% 6.8% 44.2%
Stevenson 33-2 39.3% 10.2% 51.1%
Carnegie Mellon 30-5 36.1% 32.8% 17.7%
Johns Hopkins 26-4 33.8% 32.1% 16.4%
MIT 30-3 32.7% 2.8% 28.8%
Illinois Wesleyan 23-8 30.6% 6.7% 23.1%
Calvin 30-4 30.0% 81.8% 42.6%
Ithaca 25-9 29.5% 6.0% 37.3%
Wittenberg 27-3 24.7% 1.5% 15.4%
Ohio Northern 29-6 21.0% 5.8% 28.1%
Juniata 24-9 18.6% 1.8% 8.8%
Chris Newport 28-4 18.5% 42.3% 12.2%
Wis-Eau Claire 17-11 18.0% 5.1% 32.1%
Gustavus Adolphus 26-7 15.2% 5.4% 26.8%
Berry 30-7 9.0% 78.3% 42.6%
Johnson & Wales (RI) 35-1 0.8% 0.4% 1.7%
Emory 30-7 0.7% 12.4% 3.5%
Wis-Oshkosh 20-15 0.1% 0.2% 4.0%
Wash-St. Louis 24-10 0.1% 0.8% 11.4%

Note – Yeah, I could have used Rick Kern’s data for all of the DIII teams from last season but I didn’t feel like it. Bah humbug.

Last season, we saw drops from Millikin, Swarthmore, Wis-La Crosse but not St. Thomas. This will be the Tommies second straight year over the 45% mark so it will be an impressive feat if they can once again compete for an NCAA Tournament bid.

For the under 10% crowd, only Oshkosh came away with a worse record. Maybe there is a reader familiar with the mighty Titans that would care to explain what happened in the comment section? Actually, I know they had a ton of injuries to start the year so another example of what can go wrong when the statistics say everything should go right.

Personally I think these statistics are pretty interesting from a scheduling standpoint. We saw how important strength-of-schedule was in the at-large selections (as it is every year) so the teams going into 2019 with matches against IWU, Gustavus Adolphus and St. Thomas (and feeling good about it) may be in for a surprise at the end of next season. I also would feel much better about scheduling Emory and WUSTL early in the season as they figure out their new lineups than later in the year as they push towards the tournament. Swarthmore looks to be the dark horse among these teams…a team that had somewhat a down year but is positioned to make a major move in 2019.

Here are statistics loss for Mills College and UC Santa Cruz:

TeamRecordPts LostAssistsDigs
UC Santa Cruz9-194.8%0.1%1.2%

You can see that Mills College is in trouble. They typically have a really small roster so any kind of loss will hurt but that’s a lot of hitting leaving. UC Santa Cruz is going to be the opposite. They improved in 2018 by a few wins and they should at least get to 0.500 in 2019. A lot will depend on their schedule, which is always difficult to put together when you are an independent. I’m hoping they can do some travelling in 2019 and make a run at a Pool B bid.


5 thoughts on “Statistics Loss – Top 25+

  1. Unfortunately, UWO’s OH1, OH2, MB1, RS1 and RS2 missed the year or significant time. OH3 and MB2 ended the season as the top two kill leaders.

    Despite being far less than 100%, OH1, MB1 and RS1 limped and gimped their ways to reverential all-conference honors (OH3 and MB2 were not deemed worthy of all-conference accolades), and the M*A*S*H unit eventually became the first WIAC 6th seed to win a conference tourney match in 21 years before falling in a coin toss match at UWW in the league semis.

    Thank you for asking.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thomas More is headed to NAIA in 2019, so the promise of scholarships next year is a big reason they’ve been able to jack up their quality of play of late. There was a lot of discussion early in the season about their potential participation in post-season play. (The verdict was yes, compared with D2-bound UT-Tyler who was a no because they were staying in the NCAA.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah…I think I mentioned the move to NAIA in an earlier draft but then removed it.

      In my mind the schools need to promise in writing that current players can’t receive future athletic scholarships when leaving DIII to still be eligible that last season. Still kind of naive on my part as there is always a way around these things.


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