Because we are near the middle of the season, we decided to do something special for the match of the week. Instead of looking at an individual match up, we will, instead, look at 26 different matches taking place this week and try to correctly predict as many of them as possible.
There are a few things to point out. All matches will have teams with complementary predicted win percentages. This is because we compare the teams head-to-head when generating the predictions. A closely predicted match does not necessarily mean that the match will go to 5 sets, or be closely contested, but it simply represents a team’s statistical chance of winning. Home court advantage is factored into our analysis allowing us to more accurately predict home and road games.
We found a few points of interest when we ran all of the data that we would like to address. The first point is how closely last year’s championship rematch between Lewis and Loyola, match 1, is predicted to be. As the match predicted to be the closest this week, both teams are within two percentage points of 50%, which would indicate that both teams were perfectly matched. With this match happening on Tuesday, it provides a chance to watch a good volleyball match early in the week.
Second, the match that showed the greatest variation for possible outcomes was match 20, Princeton vs. Sacred Heart. While Princeton was predicted to win, one variation of our analysis predicted Sacred Heart as heavy favorites. This goes to indicate the extra level of uncertainty surrounding a match already predicted to be very close. Third, the chance for the greatest upset comes from Penn State vs. Charleston in match 12. Penn state is predicted to win by a staggering 99.7%. While a tall task for Charleston, this would be a tremendous win for their program.
Finally, the match between the two highest rated teams in the AVCA Coaches Poll is between No. 4 Hawaii and No. 1 Long Beach State in Hawaii, only represented in match 3 even though they play twice this week. Hawaii has had plenty of time to rest and prepare as their last game was played on February 16th, 8 days before their first match on Wednesday of this week. Long Beach is currently the unanimous number one and looks to stay atop the polls. While Long Beach State is predicted to win, it isn’t a sure thing as they have a 60% predicted win percentage compared to Hawaii’s 40%. These two matches between two highly ranked teams will definitely be a highlight of this week.
Everything said, it looks like a great week for volleyball and we can’t wait to see what happens. Make sure to check out our rally of the week from last week, shown below, and follow our other posts here on our blog.