Friday, November 4, 2011

Projecting Maddie Hanlan: Stuff You Don't Know

SFA took a big step towards a trip to the 2011 Southland Conference Tournament in Conway last night by defeating Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 3-1 in what was quite a strange match. More on that and other Southland Conference wackiness in upcoming posts, but for now, let's focus on junior libero Maddie Hanlan. Here's a short interview with her after the match:

Now, let's just go straight to the list of all-time dig leaders at SFA:

1. Stephanie Figgers (03-06) 2598
2. Heather Stumbaugh (96-99) 1631
3. Maddie Hanlan (09-12) 1562

The ace, king and queen of defense in SFA Volleyball history, right there. Of course, you can easily calculate that after digging 70 more balls, Hanlan will elevate to kingly status on that list.

We are math friendly here at the blog, so lets do a little projecting. The following is just for fun, but is NOT out of the realm of possibility, so hang on tight:

This year, we've played 108 sets in 28 matches for an average of 3.857 sets per match. We have at least four matches remaining (three plus tournament). Now, we all are shooting to play in way more than 4 matches in the next few weeks, but lets be conservative for the sake of statistics. Thus, we probably have at least 15 more sets to play this season. Hanlan is averaging right at 5 digs per set and so we add 75 more digs to her current total to land at 1637. Clearly, the chase to #2 all time will be exciting to watch in the next few weeks.

If Maddie does post 75 more digs this year, her season total will be 618. Her personal record at SFA is 585. By the way, the only person to ever post 600 digs in a season for SFA? Figgers. Figgers did it three times: 620 in '04, 621 in '05 and the absolutely insane total of 853 digs in '06. People, you have to realize: Stephanie Figgers' 853 dig season in 2006 was one of the best by a libero... all-time. Notice, I didn't say "SFA all time". I said, "all time".. as in NCAA DI Volleyball history. I witnessed it. I have never seen anything like it. Remember, Figgers was an All-American.

So, Hanlan:
1) Can become the 2nd player ever to have a season at SFA with 600 digs with 57 more digs this year
2) Can get to 2nd all time at SFA with 70 more digs this year
3) Can post the 2nd highest single season digs mark in SFA history with 79 more digs this year
4) With 618 digs this year (projected) and 618 next year (pray for health and as good a year in '12 as '11), could finish with 2255 digs.

She's not going to catch Figgers, but she cleanly projects as only the 2nd Ladyjack ever to dig 2000 balls.

Now for something you didn't know: The all-time NCAA Division I career record for digs is 3176 (Laura Newberry, Chattanooga, '05-'08) Figgers' total ranks 7th all time in NCAA DI history and is the most in Southland Conference history. To get into the Top 25 all time in NCAA DI history (25 is the number of girls printed in the NCAA record book), you would need 2298 for your career - just 43 digs above Hanlan's projected career total. By the way, the "UTSA Libero" Maddie refers to in the interview, Kelsey Jewasko, currently has 2183 career digs. She's a senior and so she and Maddie project to finish their careers very close to each other in terms of grand totals.

So, I'd say it is still remote, but at least possible, that Hanlan finishes her senior season in the Top 25 all time among NCAA DI liberos. Bet you hadn't calculated that. That's what I am here for.

Now, check this out: Suppose Hanlan can get to 2300 and finish in the Top 25 all time.

Then, SFA will be the only volleyball program in NCAA DI history with two liberos in the all-time Top 25 career dig leaders.

Pray for health and one more step forward in ability 'cause that would be really neat to say, wouldn't it? Regardless of how all that shakes out - after all, a year is a long time - I think its safe to say we are watching one of the all-time SFA digging greats. Enjoy it.