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Showing posts from September, 2013

Torrid Toreros Take Season by Storm

The break-out team of the women's college season thus far is the University of San Diego, which has risen to No. 2 in the national rankings. The Toreros, featured in this article from ESPN-W's Mechelle Voepel, have played a very tough non-conference schedule and lost only once -- in five games to defending NCAA champion Texas. Last Friday's win over USC really put the Toreros on the national map. West Coast Conference play begins for USD tomorrow night, as the Toreros play at BYU in a match-up of last year's WCC co-champions (the match will be shown on BYU TV, which some cable/satellite systems carry).

Longtime readers of this blog know that I consider hitting percentage the key volleyball statistic. That was the first thing I looked at for USD and indeed the Toreros have shined on this metric. I have plotted the match-by-match hitting percentages for five USD players who get the bulk of the team's spike attempts and for the team as a whole, in the following graph …

Nike Big Four Tournament in Austin

Four of the nation's top collegiate women's volleyball teams gathered in Austin, Texas this past weekend and it was the host University of Texas Longhorns compiling the best record of the teams, 2-0. All of the match-ups were prearranged, rather than a format of semi-finals and finals being used. UT's wins were both close: 25-27, 25-17, 13-25, 25-21, 15-10 over Penn State, and 29-27, 18-25, 25-16, 27-25 over Stanford. Box scores of the four matches are available at the following links: Texas-Penn State, Texas-Stanford, Florida-Stanford, and Florida-Penn State.

My initial interest was in looking at which players hit at a consistently high level over their teams' two matches. I created the following chart (on which you can click to enlarge), focusing on players who took 20 or more hitting attempts in a match. Highlighted in blue are players who hit (roughly) .300 or better in both of their matches.


Four middle-blockers hit well in both of their matches: Penn State's …