Just one competitive season removed, not 4-5 years.
2019 BW title
2020 8-4 when covid cancelled season
2021 Team opted out rather than burn eligibility to play just 8 league matches.
2022. Understand squad got used to 18 months of not working hard.. thus the transfers out and first sub .500 year since 1999.
Rarely a Cali kid during the 17 year run.. Country club sport and going to a CSU ain't cool at the club. But rest of world loves So Cal. And none have ever been high 5 star players. 8s one Cali girl this year again.
Recruiting difference now.... three words: COST OF ATTENDANCE. And LB Tennis has no funding for that.
Nor does it have full in state scholarship funding as last two ADs did not provide funds as costs went up.
When a kid/parents offered scholarship + $4k CASH PER YEAR even the snow belt programs win recruiting battles when $16,000 vs $0. Only funded 6.5 of 8 allowed. Coach has to fundraise the rest in order to field a full squad.
UCSB and Hawaii tennis are giving cost of attendance money. LB is not for tennis (or most other sports to my knowledge).
...from my vantage point, which is way down..
Tyler's first year as we've found out was part experiment. The team needs to improve more throughout teh season, the glaring hole was that Middle Blocking production never seemed to improve.
so I believe the change in coaching is in part to get improved training, the prior coaches, especially Hill, did not have proven 'hands-on' experience in teaching/coaching. The change IMO is to improve that.
it does beg the question of what Tyler saw (likely believed) in his first hires. Also, have to remember the first hire was MacRae from the men's team and that lasted about 3 weeks, before it was shelved. It's not clear (one can guess) why that structure fell through
It's been a tough 4-5 years since the last BWCT title, which itself that was a nice surprise at the time.
simply, for whatever reason, Beach is no longer getting the 1-2 top 100/125 type recruits to play at the top of the lineup that we had in the 'glory days' for Hilt-Costello.
combined, UCSB and Cal Poly have had new coaches and now have a high level of $$$ from some key sponsors injected into the program. Cal Poly has a major donor for the some non-spectator sports programs.
Covid didn't help, but seemed to really for the Beach program create turnover from the recruiting classes that were in place.
Then last year had a xfer to LMU, which hurt
the result is Tennis is mid-pack Big West team, whether the methods/connections Hilt-Costello had in the past to sift thru the foreign recruiting that was all done remote are not not giving her the intel needed, combined with tougher recruiting competition. And then you can't sell being the top Big West program. yuk
It was a great run, and still a nice representation of players, just not the talent there to be the top 50/75 team we were year in - year out.
We were also always getting at least one really solid Cali player that would come to teh beach. Haven't had a solid Cali recruit since Munoz left which broke a string over 10 years of at least one really good Cali player on the team
would be interesting to get Hilt-Costello's thoughts and probably some frustrations. SHe delivers a positive message, and even conveying that message gets more challenging when you've slipped from the top of the hill
Irvine has been in the tank even worse the last 6 or so years, as they were the main challenger to the program before then.
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