Photo: Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com
BELTON- The American Southwest Conference Volleyball Championship Tournament is coming back to Belton.
For the first time since 2010, the ASC finished the regular season with a two-way tie atop the conference standings, leading to UMHB and ETBU each claiming a share of the league title. But for the third time in the last four seasons, UMHB hosts the conference tournament as The Cru won a head-to-head tiebreaker against ETBU.
Since the two programs split the regular season series, with ETBU winning 3-2 in Marshall, and UMHB winning 3-0 in Belton, the second tiebreaker was total sets played in the team’s head-to-head matchups. Because of the Crusaders’ three-set sweep in Belton and ETBU going five sets against UMHB in Marshall, UMHB earned the right to host.
This marks the seventh time the ASC Tournament will be held in Belton, per the ASC press release, and the sixth time since 2014.
The Crusaders are the No. 1 seed, and, along with ETBU at No. 2, earned a first-round bye. UMHB’s opening tournament match comes on Friday night at 5:00 p.m., hosting the winner of LeTourneau and Hardin-Simmons. LETU and HSU battle on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in Belton.
Should UMHB win in the semifinal round, the Crusaders will play for the ASC Tournament title, and a bid to the NCAA Tournament, at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. UMHB last reached the NCAA Tournament in 2018.
Also on the line in this weekend’s tournament, UMHB is nearing a record-breaking season in terms of wins. The Cru is 26-1 and needs two wins to tie for second all-time in program history for wins in a season (28). The highest mark for single-season victories is 29, set in 2013.