Nerdly Nebraska.

2020-2021 HuskerGeek Ratings Leaders

Sport School Rating

Football alabama 10.9670
Men's Basketball gonzaga 10.7652
Women's Basketball stanford 12.7003
Baseball tcu 9.8526
Softball ucla 12.7916
Ice Hockey north dakota 10.0402
Men's Lacrosse notre dame 9.3001
Women's Lacrosse north carolina 12.0905
Men's Soccer trine 12.1712
Women's Soccer southern california 11.3917
Men's Volleyball lincoln memorial 9.8925
Women's Volleyball kentucky 13.4502
Field Hockey north carolina 12.0793

ViPR NCAA Volleyball Ratings

Division 1

Rnk. Team Conference

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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BPR NCAA Women's Basketball Ratings

Division 1

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Division 2

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Division 3

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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 21.7177 18.2372 13.5420 3.3675 18.3898 -9.3344 13.1265
2nd kentucky Women's Volleyball 20-1-0 13.5759 13.5149 13.3183 12.3697 13.4502 3.4513 3.3679
3rd ucla Softball 18-2-0 11.7806 12.8570 13.3267 11.7834 12.7916 11.3693 10.5731
4th oklahoma Softball 29-1-0 13.9781 12.7130 11.2840 13.9804 12.7447 17.5196 9.2871
5th stanford Women's Basketball 29-1-0 12.4013 12.4743 12.3537 12.4312 12.7003 11.2456 11.5748
6th williams Softball 6-0-0 10.6226 12.2172 14.7001 10.6254 12.6387 10.0850 9.6690
7th wisconsin Women's Volleyball 16-0-0 12.6226 12.6193 12.4615 13.0811 12.5520 4.4187 2.8168
8th augustana sd Softball 27-3-0 11.4956 12.2222 12.4379 11.4984 12.1768 12.0624 9.5348
9th trine Men's Soccer 4-1-0 14.3223 12.0858 8.9703 1.6228 12.1712 -6.0018 7.8644
10th north carolina Women's Lacrosse 13-0-0 11.8617 12.1724 12.1916 11.8615 12.0905 10.1384 12.4572
11th north carolina Field Hockey 13-0-0 11.3532 11.9557 12.4742 11.2422 12.0793 1.5073 2.8119
12th midland Softball 1-0-0 12.9049 11.2073 11.6654 12.8982 11.9692 26.6121 0.1369
13th florida Women's Volleyball 17-3-0 12.0492 12.0030 11.8746 10.6082 11.9592 3.2700 2.5877
14th drury Women's Basketball 20-2-0 11.0446 11.0924 13.0500 11.0442 11.8401 12.2775 7.8143
15th baylor Women's Basketball 25-2-0 11.5895 11.5247 10.4699 11.6179 11.5596 10.9243 10.3611
16th uconn Women's Basketball 27-2-0 11.5379 11.5853 10.2364 11.5686 11.4812 10.0664 11.2087
17th southern california Women's Soccer 7-1-3 9.0737 11.5411 12.3959 0.7346 11.3917 2.9529 -2.1869
18th clarke Women's Soccer 1-0-0 13.0786 11.3345 9.2567 1.3417 11.3801 -13.8841 15.6502
19th hamilton Softball 4-4-0 10.4098 11.3933 11.9000 10.4094 11.3578 18.3701 2.6145
20th florida st Women's Soccer 7-0-0 9.9931 11.4528 11.5879 1.1252 11.3463 -3.0152 4.3176
21st texas tyler Softball 25-5-0 10.5687 11.1946 11.3151 10.5714 11.1418 9.1244 10.3552
22nd north georgia Softball 25-5-0 10.9920 11.1651 10.7844 10.9948 11.0879 9.9608 10.3890
23rd alabama Football 13-0-0 10.5337 10.5315 11.9216 10.5373 10.9670 11.8102 7.5707
24th maryland Women's Basketball 19-3-0 11.0876 10.7278 9.8305 11.0434 10.9261 13.6992 6.3277
25th arizona Softball 25-5-0 10.2794 10.9651 10.8922 10.2822 10.8300 10.6350 8.6487
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