The Howard Payne Lady Jackets are projected to finish sixth in the American Southwest Conference West Division volleyball standings, according to the preseason poll released earlier this week.
The Lady Jackets (6-21, 2-13) received 34 points in the poll and one first-place vote. Mary Hardin-Baylor (28-5, 15-0) is the ASC West favorite with 129 points and 19 first-place votes followed by McMurry (24-7, 11-4) with 97 points and one first-place vote; Concordia (19-12, 11-4) with 84 points; Hardin-Simmons (15-12, 7-8) with 74 points and one first-place vote; Sul Ross (6-14, 5-10) with 44 points; then HPU.
Howard Payne sophomore outside hitter Mya Ross and sophomore libero Kylee Shirley were among the 22 selected to the Players to Watch List.
In the ASC East, UT-Dallas (23-10, 13-1) is the favorite with 109 points and 21 first-place votes trailed by East Texas Baptist (14-15, 7-7) with 85 points and one first-place vote; LeTourneau (7-21, 4-10) with 67 points; Louisiana College (5-22, 3-11) with 38 points; and Belhaven (10-19, 2-12) with 30 points.
The top three seeds from each division advance to the ASC Championship Nov. 7-9 at the site of the East champion. The ASC tournament champion earns an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Championships.
The Lady Jackets open the season Aug. 30 at Texas Lutheran, while Howard Payne's home and ASC opener both fall on Sept. 11 against Mary Hardin-Baylor.