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East Texas Baptist, Hardin-Simmons Favorite Choices for Volleyball Crowns
August 22, 2006

RICHARDSON, Texas –– East Texas Baptist University and Hardin-Simmons University have been predicted to win the American Southwest Conference East and West Division volleyball titles, respectively, after a vote of the league’s 14 head coaches and sports information directors, the conference office announced on Tuesday.

ETBU, which finished 24-10 overall and 15-3 in league play last season, became the favorite after 2005 East champion and NCAA Division III national tournament participant Austin College left the conference. The Lady Tigers, who have a current streak of five straight appearances in the ASC championship tournament, picked up nine first-place votes and 66 points – eight more marks than University of Texas at Dallas, which grabbed three top-spot votes.

With 48 points, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor was picked to finish third in its move over from the West and was followed by University of Texas at Tyler (44 pts.), Mississippi College (26 pts.) and LeTourneau University (15 pts.).

ASC championship tournament finalist Hardin-Simmons tallied 95 points and all but two first-place votes, which went the way of Texas Lutheran University (82 pts.). The Cowgirls, who broke the Bulldogs’ string of three straight West crowns in 2005, return from a 19-11, 17-3 season in which they received their first taste of the postseason.

Selected after TLU in the seven-team division was McMurry University (68 pts.) and Sul Ross State University (53 pts.). Concordia University at Austin (37 pts.), Schreiner University (30 pts.) and Howard Payne University (27 pts.) rounded out the West’s predicted order.

ASC volleyball teams may begin the 2006 season as early as September 1. The six-team conference championship tournament is slated for November 3-4 at the site of the West Division champion. The ASC tourney winner earns a berth in the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship.

2006 PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL HEAD COACHES/SIDs POLL

East Division    
  Team (1st place votes) Pts. *2005 Records
1 East Texas Baptist (9) 66 24-10, 15-3 ASC
2 Texas-Dallas (3) 58 16-17, 12-6 ASC
3 Mary Hardin-Baylor 48 14-16, **8-12 ASC
4 Texas-Tyler 44 13-16, 10-8 ASC
5 Mississippi College 26 11-17, 4-14 ASC
6 LeTourneau 15 7-25, 3-15 ASC
West Division    
  Team (1st-place votes)      Pts.     2005 Records
1 Hardin-Simmons (12) 95 19-11, 17-3 ASC
2 Texas Lutheran (2) 82 15-13, 14-6 ASC
3 McMurry 68 19-10, 12-8 ASC
4 Sul Ross State 53 16-14, 11-9 ASC
5 Concordia-Austin 37 5-15, 6-18 ASC
6 Schreiner 30 2-18, 2-22 ASC
7 Howard Payne 27 4-16, 5-24 ASC

*2005 East Division champion Austin College (35-2, 17-1 ASC) is no longer a member of the conference
**Mary Hardin-Baylor competed in the West Division last season.


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