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Showing posts from May, 2016

NCAA Men's Tourney: If BYU and UCLA Meet in Final, Bruins' Serving Could Be Crucial

We're now down to the Final Four of men's NCAA volleyball, with two semifinal matches tonight -- No. 1 seed BYU vs. No. 4 Long Beach State, and No. 2 seed UCLA vs. No. 3 Ohio State -- and the final on Saturday (link to bracket). In the event of a BYU-UCLA final, which is no certainty, my preview below will be useful. If not, it will have been purely an academic exercise.

BYU and UCLA have played three times this season, in a pair of regular-season matches in Los Angeles (here and here) and in the MPSF conference-tournament final in Provo. The Cougars have taken all three contests, each in four games. In each of these matches, Bruin serving errors have played a seemingly large role in determining the outcome. UCLA committed 15 service errors in the first match, 20 in the second, and 27 in the third. I find this unbelievable, but in the three matches combined, the Bruins missed one-quarter of all their serve attempts (62 misses on 246 serves, which is .252)! (These and other sta…