This week’s match of the week features two of the top teams in the MPSF, and in the country: #4 BYU against #2 UCLA. Each team has performed well so far this season, but this will be a match to prove which team should be on top in the MPSF. Last year, BYU was able to beat UCLA twice 3-1 in Los Angeles. They will host UCLA this weekend for two matches, so it’ll be great to see how these teams face off each time. Below is the VolleyMetric Rating comparison between these two teams:
|UC Los Angeles||4.63||7.33||5.6||5.86||3.76||6.13||5.19||5.06||13.78%|
As we look at the ratings between these two teams, there are a few things that stick out. The first is UCLA’s attack and pass rating. We always talk about how these two ratings are correlated with winning. UCLA is a better attacking and passing team than BYU, but BYU is predicted to win the match. One of the reasons behind this is the home court advantage. Home court advantage is calculated in our prediction and it’s a big factor in the outcome of a match. BYU is 4-1 at home right now, with two ranked wins against #14 CSUN and #7 UC Irvine. Another factor that has BYU defeating UCLA is their strength of schedule (SOS). 6/9 of BYU’s matches have been against ranked opponents, where UCLA has only played ranked opponents 5/10 times this year. UCLA’s number may be boosted a bit because of the lack of competition they have played, so BYU’s higher SOS is taken into the prediction percentage.
As far as the other skill ratings go, BYU is a much better serving, blocking, and setting team than UCLA, and a slightly better digging team. Below we have displayed graphical representations of each team’s statistics:
From these two bar charts, you can see that these two teams are very similar offensively. About 70% of each team’s scoring is produced on their own. Their point breakdowns are very similar as well, but as was previously stated, UCLA has had a bit of an easier schedule than BYU. It seems that the results of this match will be determined by which team can out hit their opponent. BYU plays much better defense than UCLA, so that could have a big impact of the match as well. These two teams face off Friday and Saturday (2/3 & 2/4) so tune in this weekend two watch these two top teams battle.