Last week, we decided to do something different for the VolleyMetrics Match of the Week. We used our head-to-head models to predict 27 matches that occurred last week. Of the 27, we were able to correctly predict 25 of the them. With the tremendous response we received, we decided to do it again this week.
Once again, 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.
BYU plays at Hawaii twice this week in one of the week’s highest ranked match-ups. BYU has swept teams in 10 straight matches while Hawaii has gone 4-6 in their last 10. With Hawaii trying to make a return to their early season form, BYU trying to prove that it is worthy of its second-place national ranking, and Hawaii in range to poach a match or two at home, these matches will definitely be worth following.
Again this week, we have a few matches within 5% of being perfectly balanced. Against George Mason, NJIT compensates for its slightly lower overall rating by playing at home. NJIT looks to improve its 2-3 home record to .500 while George Mason will try to halt its four game losing streak. Both teams will try to improve their in-conference records this Friday in Newark. The other matches within 5% of balanced include: NJIT vs. George Mason, Princeton vs. McKendree, Long Beach vs. Penn State, and Cal Baptist vs. USC.
Another match to watch is the match-up between Ball State and Grand Canyon. Ball State is ranked eighth while on a ten-game winning streak that has included wins against Lewis, Loyola, and Ohio State. Grand Canyon is currently not ranked, but has been playing well according to the VolleyMetrics Rating Index accruing a 6.42, 0.25 points higher than Ball State. With Grand Canyon highly favored in this match but facing a Ball State squad that is playing well and winning often, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. Look forward to a post looking more in depth at Ball State’s win streak coming out hopefully later this week.
The last two match-ups to watch take place late in the week as No. 1 Long Beach plays an inter-conference match at No. 6 Penn State while USC hosts No. 15 Cal Baptist. Long Beach has claimed the top spot in the AVCA Coaches Poll for four straight weeks while being the unanimous top-ranked team for the last two. While Long Beach has won 9 straight matches including wins against BYU, UCLA, and Stanford, they have to travel more than 2,500 miles to participate in this match against the Nittany Lions who have 11 straight wins of their own including wins against Lewis and Ball State. Predicted to be close, only 9% separating the two teams, this match will serve to either solidify Long Beach’s claim to the top spot or potentially dethrone them. USC and Cal Baptist are both looking to right the ship after multiple losses and are predicted to play a close one as both teams are predicted within 2.5% of being balanced.
Make sure to check out our rally of the week from last week, shown above, and follow our other posts here on our blog.