We are just over one month into the season, and we have already seen so much excitement in the polls. Ohio State is the only remaining undefeated team, and they have been #1 in the polls all season long. There have been three different teams in the #2 spot, and the rest of the spots have had different teams each week. It has been an interesting season thus far, which is why this week, we have decided to feature two matches.

The two featured matches are Lewis vs. Ohio State and UC Irvine vs. Long Beach State. These four teams are in the top 7 in the AVCA polls currently, and have had great seasons so far. Below, we have their VolleyMetric Ratings and the predicted outcome of the matches:

VolleyMetrics Ratings
Team Serve Pass Attack Block Dig Set Overall SOS Win %
Ohio State 2.49 7.45 5.85 6.34 4.55 5.34 5.62 5.48 86.22%
Lewis 2.88 7.24 5.51 6.66 4.37 7 5.52 5.34 13.78%
UC Irvine 4.62 7.03 5.24 6 4.27 6.8 5.47 5.42 58.38%
Long Beach 3.02 7.53 5.54 5.77 4.36 6.75 5.51 5.36 41.62%
League Overall 3.23 7.02 4.67 5.81 4.32 5.7 5.32 5.39

In the first match up, it shows that Ohio State has a large advantage over Lewis. When you compare their skills Ohio State is only better than Lewis in 3/6 categories. Ohio State does have a higher SOS, a better overall score, and home court advantage. Although Ohio State is predicted to win, Lewis is still a very good team. They are #3 in our VolleyMetrics Ratings and they have a better overall score than Long Beach State, who is currently #2 in the country. They are one of the best blocking and setting teams in the country, so this could be a closer match than our predictions show.

The second match up’s prediction is a lot closer to the first. Even with home court advantage, our ratings only give UC Irvine about a 58% of winning. UC Irvine is a much better serving team, but aside from this skill, both teams are very similar. Even their overall ratings are extremely similar. Below, we have a graphical representation of each team’s skills, as well as their points breakdown.

As you look more into the Long Beach State and UC Irvine match up, you can see that Long Beach State has much better attacking and passing statistics than UC Irvine. Also, when you look at their points breakdown, they score on their own a lot more often that UC Irvine does. However, UC Irvine claims home court advantage and a more difficult strength of schedule, allowing them to overcome Long Beach in our models. Both of these teams have convincing wins. Long Beach was able to beat Hawaii twice while dropping a match to USC. UC Irvine was able to split matches with BYU in Provo while losing to Hawaii, UCLA, and USC.

In the Ohio State and Lewis match up, you can see that the Buckeyes have the advantage in almost every skill and they perform better in every scoring situation. These two matches should be entertaining, so tune in this Thursday and Friday to see the outcome.



Corley Bagley

Corley Bagley

Director of Analytics


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