Nerdly Nebraska.

2020-2021 HuskerGeek Ratings Leaders

Sport School Rating

Football alabama 10.9670
Men's Basketball gonzaga 10.7710
Women's Basketball stanford 12.7003
Baseball tcu 9.6881
Softball ucla 12.3662
Ice Hockey north dakota 10.0402
Men's Lacrosse denver 9.3101
Women's Lacrosse north carolina 12.2150
Men's Soccer trine 12.0839
Women's Soccer southern california 11.4654
Men's Volleyball lincoln memorial 9.5773
Women's Volleyball kentucky 12.8897
Field Hockey north carolina 12.3044

BPR NCAA Women's Basketball Ratings

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Division 2

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Division 3

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ViPR NCAA Volleyball Ratings

Division 1

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Division 1 Standouts

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Division 2

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Division 2 Standouts

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Division 3

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Division 3 Standouts

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Advanced Rate Statistics for NCAA Women’s Volleyball

Or Why Per Set Statistics are Bullsh*t

Pop quiz.

Question 1: How many points is a set in NCAA Division 1 Volleyball?

If you said twenty-five, you are wrong. If you said twenty-five except in a fifth set when it is only fifteen, you are wrong.  If you said it depends, then congratulations you have won the game.

Question 2: Name each team that corresponds to the primary or secondary color referenced in the following table.

Hint: These figures are the average points per set for each Big Ten team last season.

Team Points Per Set
Red 41.12
Blue 42.49
Red 42.50
Red 42.87
Red 42.94
Orange 43.06
Purple 43.19
Yellow 43.23
Red 43.43
Red 43.51
Yellow 43.88
Green 43.96
Red 43.97
Blue 44.29

Answers are at the bottom.

This presents a significant issue when it comes to doing rate statistics.   A four kill per set player at 41.12 points per set would average more than 4.3 kps if they had the same kill rate and played for the last team in the table averaging 44.29 points per set.  A quick look at the current KPS table on NCAA Stats says that’s the difference between being 57th and 34th.  A significant difference.  Additionally, because the gap will widen linearly as the initial numbers grow, the result is that the players at the very top of the chart can be misrepresented to the highest degree.  That’s simply unacceptable when trying to use a statistic to formulate any significant statistical argument.

And that’s not even the worst example I could come up with.

Per Set statistics are meaningless without additional context.  The context that a person would need to supply to make those statistics worthwhile is tedious and time consuming to track and calculate.   This results in volleyball fans and the media continually relying on and relaying statistics that in reality mean very little.

It needs to change, and that’s the purpose of this article and a couple of pages that I’ve now added to the site.  While per set statistics are exceptionally flawed, points are not.  In fact, points applied in the right way can be exceptionally accurate when calculating a rate statistic.

Here are the top ten players on the current(9/15/2018) stats.ncaa.org KPS leaders table.

NCAA Volleyball D1 KPS Leaders 9-15-2018

Here is the same list, but instead of per set, the rates are per point in each team’s games.

Kills Per 100 Points

Rk. Name Team KPP
1 13.8140
2 12.8452
3 11.5678
4 11.4781
5 10.9756
6 10.9277
7 10.8782
8 10.8467
9 10.7735
10 10.6240

There are differences and there can be extreme differences. In fact, with many of the common statistics volleyball fans and the media use, using points is inherently flawed.  When measuring kill rates for players, total points in a match has an inherent flaw.  Specifically, during any match there will inevitably be points wher a player who plays for all rotations will still have no chance to get a kill, namely aces and service errors.

AN: There are caveats beyond this as well. Not every player plays six rotations and there are points beyond aces and service errors during which a player would also by definition not have a chance to get a kill. Rotational errors are the specific issue in this case because I did not have the foresight to track them efficiently in my database and will need to do some significant redesign before I can efficiently account for those points.

Beyond using total points for a rate, simple subtraction can be used measure the rate at which a player gets a kill for every point in play.

This is the table for the statistic named Kills per Point-In-Play.  Original name, I know.

Kills Per 100 Points In Play

Rk. Name Team KPIP
1 16.6556
2 14.8148
3 13.5862
4 13.3621
5 13.2583
6 13.1679
7 12.9555
8 12.6316
9 12.6050
10 12.5421

It’s not even the same list as the original per point list.  While this approach is not currently perfect, it’s still much better than using per set because the denominator of the statistic being calculated means the same thing across all players.  The context per point statistics provide is important because without it volleyball statistics are very nearly meaningless.  An instance of “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” if you will.  Making even incremental progress toward better understanding and knowledge is important.

Measuring virtually every statistic by points played improves it drastically, but Aces and Service Errors per set make the least sense as a statistic.  It is entirely possible to play a set in which a primary server will not serve during the set.  In fact, in fifth sets, it actually isn”t all that rare.  Luckily, NCAA Play-By-Play pages happen to track exactly who serves each point, a fortunate thing in this instance because those pages can be used to get per serve rates for aces, service errors, and service points.

AN: This(A primary server not getting the opportunity to serve.) actually happened to Lauren Stivrins in Set 3 of the Nebraska vs Missouri State less than three hours after I saved my latest draft of this article. Yeah, that happened.

These statistics and more have been made available on each team page as well as Division and Conference leaders.  The leaders are available using the “View Complete Advanced Statistics Leaders” link on each division or conference page.

And that friends, is why per set statistics are bullsh*t.

Answer Key

Top to Bottom: Rutgers, Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan

The Best This Year

These are the current all sport rankings for the school year of 2021-2022.
Rk. Team Sport Record MOV DOM ELO EFF SYN PTS ALL
1st lawrence tech Men's Soccer 2-0-0 21.6778 18.1566 13.4052 3.4160 18.3139 -8.7403 12.4254
2nd kentucky Women's Volleyball 17-1-0 13.1720 13.0081 12.4535 9.1451 12.8897 3.1683 1.1248
3rd stanford Women's Basketball 29-1-0 12.4013 12.4743 12.3537 12.4312 12.7003 11.2456 11.5748
4th ucla Softball 17-2-0 11.2876 12.4360 12.9314 11.2905 12.3662 10.3262 10.1883
5th north carolina Field Hockey 12-0-0 11.7519 12.1844 12.5076 11.3897 12.3044 1.3082 2.0933
6th north carolina Women's Lacrosse 11-0-0 11.9575 12.2862 12.3231 11.9570 12.2150 10.3926 12.1169
7th trine Men's Soccer 4-1-0 14.2668 11.9963 8.8432 1.4916 12.0839 -5.5194 7.1671
8th augustana sd Softball 23-3-0 11.3753 12.0477 12.2901 11.3782 12.0399 11.5155 9.3321
9th oklahoma Softball 25-0-0 13.3283 11.9826 10.4069 13.3308 12.0104 15.9452 8.8655
10th drury Women's Basketball 20-2-0 11.0446 11.0924 13.0500 11.0442 11.8401 12.2775 7.8143
11th midland Softball 1-0-0 12.5331 10.8124 11.2340 12.5271 11.5872 24.4828 0.3349
12th baylor Women's Basketball 25-2-0 11.5895 11.5247 10.4699 11.6179 11.5596 10.9243 10.3611
13th florida Women's Volleyball 15-2-0 11.8005 11.6295 11.1273 7.4002 11.5339 3.2505 0.2414
14th uconn Women's Basketball 27-2-0 11.5379 11.5853 10.2364 11.5686 11.4812 10.0664 11.2087
15th southern california Women's Soccer 7-1-2 8.9379 11.6126 12.6213 0.8920 11.4654 3.3105 -2.3765
16th florida st Women's Soccer 7-0-0 9.8972 11.3719 11.5055 1.2127 11.2652 -3.0814 4.5158
17th clarke Women's Soccer 1-0-0 12.8727 11.2056 9.1444 1.4558 11.2376 -13.2821 15.2478
18th alabama Football 13-0-0 10.5337 10.5315 11.9216 10.5373 10.9670 11.8102 7.5707
19th maryland Women's Basketball 19-3-0 11.0876 10.7278 9.8305 11.0434 10.9261 13.6992 6.3277
20th gonzaga Men's Basketball 27-1-0 10.4355 10.3671 11.0681 10.3668 10.7710 13.2193 5.8016
21st south carolina Women's Basketball 23-5-0 10.5408 10.5905 10.3730 10.5706 10.7624 8.7605 10.7242
22nd arizona Softball 24-2-0 9.8241 10.9277 11.0970 9.8269 10.7542 9.7508 8.2238
23rd north georgia Softball 20-4-0 10.6082 10.7839 10.5082 10.6110 10.7517 9.2736 9.9386
24th texas tyler Softball 21-5-0 10.4913 10.7381 10.5065 10.4941 10.6978 8.6014 10.3099
25th baylor Men's Basketball 23-1-0 10.2384 10.2790 11.0143 10.2137 10.6486 10.8853 7.4828
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