It’s a new calendar year, which means men’s volleyball season is starting to kick off! A week and a half has passed since the first game of the season, but we have already had a lot of movement in the rankings. Ohio State, last year’s champs, sit at the top of the rankings, followed by UCLA, Long Beach State, BYU, and Pepperdine. This week, we have an MPSF matchup between #2 UCLA and #7 UC Irvine. UCLA will be the home team, and will look to hand UC Irvine their first lost of the season. Below are some visuals and tables on how these two teams compare:
One thing to note is that these numbers are only based off of a few matches. Because we are only a week into the season, teams have not played a lot of matches, so these ratings may be misleading. In our case, UCLA has played 3 ranked teams, while UC Irvine hasn’t played a ranked team this season. Because of this, UC Irvine’s statistics may be buffed from the lack of skill of their opponents.
|UC Los Angeles (Men’s)||9.13||6.52||4.64||6.71||2.46||4.69||5.72||5.76||49%|
|UC Irvine (Men’s)||8.75||7.29||4.85||6.35||2.74||6.03||5.78||5.47||51%|
In this match up, our analytics predict that UC Irvine barely has the edge over UCLA. As we mentioned in the prior paragraph, UC Irvine has faced much easier opponents this year, so this prediction could be off. In their first few matches, both teams compare very similarly. Each skill is almost identical, with the exception of setting and passing. UC Irvine’s high pass rating could be indicative to their higher attacking rating and their hot undefeated start since these skills tend to be correlated.
As we look at each team’s overall scoring and points breakdown, UC Irvine has the advantage in most categories. UC Irvine has higher FBSO%,SO%,PS%, and FBPS% that UCLA does. UC Irvine also depends on opponent’s errors for points in a match 6% less than UCLA does. In the overall scoring comparison, UC Irvine incredibly scores more than half of their points from kills. Watch this matchup on Thursday, 7:30PM PT to see how these teams do.
Other Big Match Ups
#1 Ohio State @ #10 Stanford, 1/13 & 1/14
#5 Pepperdine @ #8 Loyola, 1/13
#14 Penn State @ #15 Ball State , 1/13