While the poll isn’t changing much the record books may be changing. If someone has knowledge of what the record is for the longest streak of sets won is VolleyMetrics would like to know. With BYU’s sweep of Hawaii last night, they have won 33 sets in a row, 11 straight sweeps. This is an incredible streak and so for this week’s edition of the poll commentary we decided to look at the teams that are streaking for the tournament. Our data doesn’t include the match between BYU and Hawaii last night so their win streak only will appear as 10 in this post but with their win last night they tied Penn State for the longest current win streak of 11 matches. Ball State has fought their way through the best teams in the MIVA to find themselves with a 10-match winning streak. Long Beach State has played their way to a unanimous 1st place ranking with a 9-game winning streak. And Stanford has played their way into championship contention with a 7-game win streak. Although I will not look at Ohio State, it is noteworthy that they are on a 12-1 run with their only loss coming to Ball State.
Here is a quick summary of each of these teams winning streaks.
Ball State is certainly the anomaly in this group as they have statistically played on a much lower level than the other four teams. Ball State has the lowest set winning percentage and in three consecutive matches they dropped the first two sets. The third of these three consecutive matches was against Ohio State, I would say they were very fortunate to walk out of the gym with a win that evening. They are hitting over .05 worse than all the other four teams and .15 less than BYU. They are hitting the least amount of aces and are not getting a huge advantage from opponent errors, however, they are getting a good amount of block stuffs per set.
This table shows some interesting statistics about the streak.
A couple of things to point out about this table is that all the columns about ‘Least’ and ‘Most’ only includes sets 1-4 that the team won. This shows a little bit into Ball State as it seems that their stuff blocks and digs are paying off as their opponents are hitting a meager 0.151 and they currently have a Point Scoring % of 45% (Point Scoring % is the % of time they win a point when they serve) which is very good. But we also see even more about the craziness of their win streak. During one set Ball State made 7 attack attempts and killed it twice and still won, its incredible. On the other hand, they also had the most kills in a set as they outlasted McKendree to win 33-31. They have had statistically poor games and statistically amazing games leading to one of the most amazing winning streaks. They will look to continue that as they face Grand Canyon twice this week, which is one of the better statistical teams according to the VMRI.
The other fun thing about this upcoming week is that one of the winning streaks will come to an end. Long Beach State travels to play Penn State on Saturday. If both teams can win on Friday night than this will certainly be a match for the ages as two of the hottest teams in the country clash.