This will be the last Match of the Week for the regular season, as most teams are finishing up their season this week. As we look at the AVCA rankings, Long Beach State is the new number one team in the country following Ohio State’s lost to Penn State earlier last week. It’ll be interesting to see how things finish up this week and how seeding will work out going into conference tournament play.
For this week, we will be headlining #4 Hawaii as they head to Los Angeles to take on #6 UCLA. These two teams will face off twice this weekend, and the outcomes of these matches can have a big effect on the AVCA rankings and MPSF tournament seedings. Hawaii is currently the third seed in the MPSF and UCLA is the fifth seed, but if UCLA can steal these two matches, then both teams would be tied, with UCLA having the tie breaker. Below, is a comparison of these two teams and their fundamentals.
|UC Los Angeles||7.37||7.69||5.9||5.97||5.75||6.78||6.36||6.23||54.77%|
Our ratings show a lot of similarities between these two teams, aside from serving. UCLA is the number five team in the country in serving, while Hawaii is the twenty-seventh ranked team. As we look at the other five categories, you can see that Hawaii performs better, or the exact same as UCLA, but not by much. Two skills that stick out are passing and attacking. Both teams are in the top ten in these skills, but Hawaii is top five in both attacking and passing. These two skills are a big reason why these teams are doing so well this season. Their blocking, setting, and digging are all very good and better than the league average as well. UCLA has a slightly higher strength of schedule, which actually gives them the slight advantage over Hawaii in the overall ratings. UCLA and Hawaii are number three and four in our ratings, just behind Long Beach State and Ohio State. This match will be very close, and our predictions have UCLA with the slight edge in these matches. Below, we have some graphics about their offensive points breakdown, point scoring, and hitting efficiency.
In the overall scoring comparison, we can see how each team typically scores their points. Hawaii scores 56% of their points from kills, which is higher than UCLA by 2%. UCLA makes it up with their serving, where the score 7% of the points. Hawaii only scores 5% of their points from serving, but this is expected due to their low serve rating we observed above. Both teams are very similar in forcing their opponents to commit errors and block stuffs. In the points breakdown, we see each team’s strong points. UCLA has the advantage over Hawaii in SO and FBSO percentages. If we look at point scoring, it reverses, and Hawaii has the advantage over UCLA. It will be interesting to see how these matches go with each team having advantages in different breakdowns.
In our hitting efficiency graph, UCLA is the better hitting team, but it is impressive to see how these teams have hit this year. Each team has multiple games of hitting above .450, and are well above the league average in hitting this year. UCLA even has two games of hitting over .500. UCLA is hitting .336, while Hawaii is a hair behind them hitting .332, so expect a lot of kills and attacks in this match up. With our predictions being so close, don’t be surprise to see each team take a match. These matches will take place this Friday and Saturday, so be sure to watch as these two teams look to end their seasons on a high note.