This week’s match of the week is between two MPSF heavy weights: #5 UCLA and #2 Long Beach State. Each team has been featured on our match of of the week a couple of times, but this will be the only time this season these two teams will face off. Each team leads the MPSF with 7 conference wins, but Long Beach has only lost one conference game, where as UCLA has lost three. The Bruins have lost three of their last four games, so we will see if they can bounce back with a huge win this upcoming week. You can see a comparison of these two teams below through the VolleyMetric’s Ratings:
|UC Los Angeles||4.14||7.43||5.63||5.99||4.68||6.54||5.71||5.59||70.8%|
As we look at the ratings between these two teams, you can see that they both excel in different skills. Long Beach State has very high passing and attacking ratings, and are ranked top ten in the country in our rating system in these categories. UCLA, on the other hand, out performs Long Beach in serving and blocking. Both teams have almost the exact same overall rating, but it is interesting to see that Long Beach has an easier strength of schedule than most teams in the league. UCLA has played eight opponents in the the top ten, but six of those eight matches have been on the road. Long Beach has only played six matches against the top ten, but only two have been on the road, so this will be a real test for Long Beach to prove that they’re truly are a great team by having a big road win. Below, are some visual comparisons between the two teams that give a better description on how well each team performs throughout a match:
Just as our ratings showed, overall, these teams are very similar. Their scoring summaries are within 1 or 2 percent of each other in every category. In the points breakdown graph, Long Beach State has the advantage in all four breakdowns, but not by much. This is why we added a line chart of each team’s hitting efficiency to see some separation between the two teams. Neither team has been consistent in each match this year, but Long Beach State has hit better than UCLA has on average, with a hitting efficiency of .375, compared to UCLA’s .345. We mentioned before that UCLA has lost three of it’s last four matches. When we compare the efficiencies of just the first 10 matches, they are both around .350. As well as each of these team’s efficiencies, you can also see the efficiency of their opponent for each match.
This match will take place on Saturday, February 18th, at UCLA 4:00PM PT. Each team will be playing a ranked opponent earlier in the week, so hopefully that will not affect the play too much of this match up. From out predictions, UCLA looks like they will benefit from their home court advantage and look to turn around their season with a big win over Long Beach State. Make sure to continue to check the blog each week for other matches to be featured.