This week’s match up will be between #2 Long Beach State and #6 UC Irvine. These two teams faced off earlier this year in Irvine, as Long Beach decimated Irvine in three sets, beating them by an average of six points per set. Since then, both teams have gone undefeated and have each moved up in the AVCA Rankings, and the VolleyMetric Ratings. Below, we have these team’s ratings for you to compare them:
The rating comparison of these two teams is very one-sided with Long Beach State performing better in every skill except for setting. Currently, Long Beach State is in the top 5 for passing and attacking in the VMr. They are also the number three overall team, where as UC Irvine is the number ten team. Although these ratings show LBSU dominating the match, it is important to note that UC Irvine is the number one setting team in the country, and is in the top ten for attacking and serving. UCI also has a much higher strength of schedule than Long Beach State, and the rest of the league. Ten of their opponents have been ranked and have had some impressive wins against UCLA, BYU, and CSUN. In the end, Long Beach has the home court advantage, where they are currently 6-0, and our predictions have them easily winning the match. Below, we have some visual comparisons of each team’s skills.
These three graphics support the fact that Long Beach State is the #2 team in the country. Aside from their overall scoring summary, which is almost identical to UC Irvine’s, Long Beach is dominating Irvine in the point scoring and efficiency chart. Long Beach is siding out at over 70%, which is one of the best in the country. The are also point scoring at almost 40%, which is 3.4% higher than the league average. This has been a struggle for Irvine all season, as they point score just below the league average of 36.3%. UCI’s side out percentage is 67.9%, which is still very high, so they are doing well in that category.
In the hitting efficiency line graph from up above, we see a lot of inconsistency between the two teams. Overall, Long Beach’s hitting efficiency is consistently above .300. For the season, LBSU is hitting .360, while UCI is only hitting .290. This match up will take place on Wednesday, March 1st in Long Beach State, so be sure to watch this match up this week and stay tuned for more matches of the week in the future.