We are just passed the half way mark of the 2017 season, and as we look at the conference standings , there are a lot of different teams that are still in the race to win their conferences. In the MPSF there are six teams that are within three games of each other. The EIVA, has seven teams that are within two games of each other. Conference Carolinas and the MIVA only have a few teams that are still in contention to win their conferences, but Ohio State (6-0) and Mount Olive (8-0) sit a top their conferences undefeated at the moment.
For this week’s match of the week, we are choosing two teams from the MPSF that are still in range of winning their conference: #3 BYU vs. #8 Stanford. The Cardinals will be hosting the Cougars on Thursday and Friday this week. Last year, they split their two matches in Provo, UT, so it will be interesting to see how these teams will do this week. Below, we have posted the VolleyMetrics Ratings for these two teams.
As we look at the ratings between these teams, it is difficult to tell who the better team is. Stanford performs better at passing, blocking, and digging than BYU, but BYU performs much better in attacking, setting, and serving. BYU is the third best attacking team in the country and the best serving team, and these two skills could be a major factor for why BYU is predicted to beat Stanford this week. The graphics below give a better statistical explanation for why BYU has a higher overall rating than Stanford, and is predicted to win.
The overall scoring comparison shows how offensively skilled BYU is compared to Stanford. 60% of their scoring comes from kills and aces compared to Stanford’s 57%. Stanford plays better defense with 3% more points coming off of stuffs and opponent errors. As we look at the points breakdown, BYU dominates the side out percentages. With a high side out percentage, this means that BYU will serve more often, which will be beneficial for them since they’re the best serving team in the country. When we compare the two teams on their point scoring, they are almost identical and are within a fraction of a point within each other in these categories.
In the hitting efficiency line graph from up above, we can see why BYU is a top 3 hitting team in the country. They only have one game hitting below .250, compared to Stanford’s five. Overall, BYU is hitting .332 this year, while Stanford is only hitting .264 for the season. The league average is .250, so Stanford’s hitting efficiency is not much better than the league average. In the end, BYU’s dominance in hitting could give the Cougars the edge this week over the Cardinals. Tune in this week to watch these two teams face off, and be sure to stay updated each week with the match of the weeks.