For this week’s match of the week, we will take a look at the number one team in the country, Long Beach State, as they travel to face the number three team in the country, BYU. Interesting enough, these two teams are not just two of the top three teams in the country, but they are the number one and two team in the MPSF. Currently, Long Beach has a half match lead over BYU, but these two matches this week could possibly determine the final standings of the MPSF. Long Beach, who is 6-2 on the road this year, will look to extend their 14-match winning streak, while BYU will look to build on their 13-match win streak, and their 7-match home win streak. So with a lot on the line, these two matches will be very interesting to watch. Let’s see how these two teams compare below:
Our ratings illustrate perfectly how each team is doing. Long Beach is the number one team in the country and as we look at their ratings, they are well above the league average in every skill. BYU is not too for behind them, and are the exact same in setting, and far more dominant at serving. Both teams are also in the top 5 in attacking, so expect a lot of attacks and kills during these matches this weekend. Although both teams are pretty similar, Long Beach has a lot higher overall rating. They are neck and neck with Ohio State for the number one team in our ratings, while BYU is just the number 5 team. Long Beach State is the better team, but with the home court advantage, BYU has the advantage to win this match by a hair, 50.29% to 49.71%. It is important to note that BYU is 11-1 at home, while Long Beach State’s only losses have come on the road.
In the two graphs above, we can see the offensive comparison between the two teams. In the overall scoring, both teams are very similar in how they score their points, with kills leading the way and both teams forcing their teams into a lot of errors. In the points breakdown, Long Beach State has better scoring percentages than BYU. Both score at an amazing SO% of over 70%, but in the point scoring part of it, Long Beach performs much better than BYU. It will be interesting to see if Long Beach can use this as an advantage to keep a better coring pace against BYU on the road this weekend.
In our hitting efficiency graph, you can see that both teams hit very well. BYU is hitting .321, while Long Beach is hitting incredibly well at .374, which is the best in the country. Both teams have been very consistent, and their strength of schedules are both high, so they are hitting an remarkable rates against some of the best competition in the league. These two matches will be played this Friday and Saturday in Provo, so be sure to watch if BYU can take down the number one team in the country, or if Long Beach will prove to the country why their are the number one team.