Nerdly Nebraska.

2020-2021 HuskerGeek Ratings Leaders

Sport School Rating

Football alabama 10.2880
Men's Basketball tennessee 9.9971
Women's Basketball drury 14.2306
Ice Hockey minnesota st 10.6579
Men's Soccer trine 9.4729
Women's Soccer florida st 12.9434
Women's Volleyball kentucky 9.0921
Field Hockey north carolina 6.8445

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

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Division 1 Standouts

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Division 2

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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 16.2204 14.5452 12.1528 1.1143 14.6709 -3.3681 5.1763
2nd drury Women's Basketball 6-0-0 13.8891 13.4966 14.7761 13.7607 14.2306 16.0092 7.3392
3rd florida st Women's Soccer 7-0-0 11.8930 12.9685 13.1288 0.0584 12.9434 -2.4018 2.4152
4th southern ind Women's Basketball 4-1-0 12.2163 12.2672 13.8928 12.1958 12.8742 8.2392 12.9291
5th clarke Women's Soccer 1-0-0 14.6564 12.0781 9.7367 0.4175 12.3324 -6.9683 7.3699
6th truman Women's Basketball 3-0-0 10.8872 10.8807 15.1415 10.8858 12.2383 9.4233 9.2187
7th stanford Women's Basketball 9-0-0 12.6246 12.3734 10.4940 12.6130 12.1789 11.2570 10.3224
8th maryville mo Women's Basketball 2-0-0 10.6367 10.8325 13.0527 10.5394 11.4729 12.9267 4.8851
9th north carolina Women's Soccer 9-1-0 10.0993 11.4127 11.7450 -0.1940 11.3412 -1.3642 1.0558
10th oregon Women's Basketball 8-1-0 11.2364 10.9949 9.0409 11.2317 10.7573 9.9667 9.2468
11th viterbo Women's Soccer 2-0-0 11.1988 10.6968 9.7367 0.2027 10.7497 -7.2722 7.3699
12th minnesota st Ice Hockey 5-1-1 8.6216 10.8491 11.7725 8.6215 10.6579 2.5586 10.8248
13th rockhurst Women's Basketball 1-2-0 10.2871 10.0946 11.0062 10.2801 10.6139 7.0411 10.7750
14th angelo st Women's Volleyball 1-1-0 10.8286 10.5909 9.8634 0.7025 10.5231 2.2986 -1.1087
15th south carolina Women's Basketball 7-1-0 10.6719 10.4120 9.5489 10.6727 10.4827 8.9150 9.3933
16th colgate Men's Basketball 1-1-0 11.2341 11.1375 7.8762 11.0504 10.4050 14.6057 4.2068
17th mo st louis Women's Basketball 2-2-0 9.7722 9.6060 11.2286 9.7749 10.3049 8.5482 8.1760
18th alabama Football 12-0-0 9.7554 9.9293 11.4041 9.7549 10.2880 11.0620 6.9466
19th uconn Women's Basketball 6-0-0 10.4634 10.4394 8.5709 10.4590 10.0961 7.4435 10.6473
20th tennessee Men's Basketball 7-1-0 10.1105 10.4077 9.0091 10.0069 9.9971 5.4310 10.3959
21st gonzaga Men's Basketball 10-0-0 9.6943 9.5306 10.1428 9.5410 9.9134 12.8552 3.4114
22nd uindy Women's Basketball 3-3-0 9.3002 9.2599 10.9644 9.3057 9.9070 8.0052 7.9259
23rd baylor Men's Basketball 9-0-0 9.8081 9.7319 8.6248 9.7204 9.6107 10.6704 5.4538
24th illinois Men's Basketball 8-3-0 9.6865 9.5935 8.6182 9.6085 9.5207 10.0803 5.7783
25th trine Men's Soccer 4-1-0 10.4916 9.4017 7.7873 0.6490 9.4729 -2.8477 3.8870
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