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Showing posts from May, 2010

Lawson Powers Stanford to NCAA Men's Title

Stanford's Brad Lawson had an incredible offensive night as the Cardinal blew out Penn State for the NCAA title, 30-25, 30-20, 30-18. Lawson, a 6-foot-7 sophomore outside hitter who was one of four players from the state of Hawaii to take the court for Stanford tonight, compiled the following line: 24 kills with only 1 hitting error, in 28 attempts, for a remarkable .821 percentage (box score). For those who don't follow volleyball closely, a hitting percentage in the .300's would be considered very good and in the .400's, outstanding. For the season (including the championship match), Lawson hit .387 (522 kills and 143 errors on 980 attempts).

This NCAA men's volleyball records page (current only through 2006) presents two championship records, for a single match and for both games of a tournament combined:

HITTING PERCENTAGE, MATCH (MIN. 15 ATTEMPTS)
.867--Jeff Nygaard, UCLA (3) vs. Ohio St. (0), 5-7-93.

HITTING PERCENTAGE, TOURNAMENT (MIN. 20 ATTEMPTS)
.788--…

Preview of Penn State-Stanford NCAA Men's Final

In anticipation of tomorrow night's (7:00 Eastern) NCAA men's championship match between Penn State and Stanford, the Nittany Lion athletic department has put out a press release that includes some interesting statistical facts.

According to the release, Penn State is 21-6 when two or more players record double-digit kills, 7-3 when two or more players record double-digit digs, and 13-2 when achieving 10 or more blocks (among other things). Such statistics can potentially provide useful insights in assessing a team's chances of winning a particular match. However, caution should be exercised for a few reasons. Before I go any further in my comments, though, I want to state that I am thrilled any time I see statistically oriented writing in the coverage of volleyball and that I intend my remarks in a constructive spirit.

First, the presented statistics do not make use of all the known information. Using the last statistic given above, the Nittany Lions are 13-2 when get…