We have data now, but we have no context. That makes a lot of organizing extremely difficult at best and a fool’s errand at worst. So, I’ve given a lot of thought to some of these teams but very little to others. Alas, sometimes you just have to throw things at the board and see what sticks.
- Russ Rose
- Washington State
- San Diego
- Florida State
- Colorado State
I don’t have much today. There are simply no connections between the pods in our directional graph. Some teams did stuff that I thought probably deserved some movement and got moved. Some teams did very little to prove or disprove my initial assumptions and stayed put. I was in Lincoln at VERT(Longer article to come.) and didn’t see much beyond the four teams that were there. I spent most of the rest of the weekend traveling to and from Lincoln. The official post on VolleyTalk courtesy of user vbprisoner can be found here. The AVCA’s vastly inferior poll can be found here.
Nebraska’s Place in the Fray
Tough to tell right now. The first match for Big Red was pretty different than the clean volleyball we’ve come to expect from the Huskers. However, with all the new players and the losses sustained by graduation and transfers, it wasn’t a totally unexpected start. Statistically, it wasn’t even that different from Nebraska’s appearance in the VERT Challenge in 2017. Obviously, I’m not expecting this team to win a National Championship. That is an unfair expectation at any time, and doubly unfair when half of the team is new to the program. It does; however, illustrate the incredible transition a team can make from opening day to tournament time.
That’s why they play the games. That’s why we watch the games.
The second week of volleyball season is in the books and this is who lit up the ViPR Win Probability Added sheet.
All-Around Division 1
Heather Hook of UNI takes the crown for the highest base score for WPA. She scored an impressive 2.2865 in UNI’s four set victory over USC. Getting the job done all over the court with 50 assists, 8 kills on 16 swings, 10 digs, 4 block assists and a service ace. I suspect a partridge in a pear tree may have been watching that performance. It was a performance which also takes the award for the highest accumulated score per set.
→ Southern California vs. UNI (2017-09-01)
Specialists of Division 1
The highest per set attack score was produced by Green Bay’s Lydia DeWeese. Scoring eighteen true kills on thirty-one attempts with only two hitting errors in a competitive three set loss to Butler. All three sets were won with two point margins and the third set scored 56 total points.
→ Butler vs. Green Bay (2017-09-02)
Minnesota’s own Samantha Seliger Swenson takes home the award for the highest setter score. Samantha captured the award by slightly more than a thousandth per set, just edging Duquesne’s Dani Suiter. A comfortable three set sweep of Tennessee provided the stat line for Gopher setter.
Game Not Available
Swenson accumulated forty-nine assists in three sets during a performance game that saw Minnesota hit 0.396. More than a solid day at the office, but Swenson also added three kills, two blocks, and seven digs.
We come to the most fickle of skills the block. The domain of those later described as having a sense of the moment, or a penchant for delivering in the clutch. Lauren Frilling of Xavier takes home the prize this week. Her eight block performance scored 0.4963 on the stat sheet. Two solo blocks and four block assists in a four set loss to Miami of Ohio.
→ Miami (OH) vs. Xavier (2017-08-29)
Aces and service points rule the serving score and Ivana Blazevic of Maryland Eastern Shore certainly acquired plenty of both. During Eastern Shore’s three set sweep of St. Francis Brooklyn, Blazevic served twenty-seven times and her team scored on twenty-two of them. Eight times the ball went over and did not come back. Ivana added thirty-six assists to her serving exhibition.
Game Not Available
Emily Lopes of CSU Bakersfield accumulated thirty-two digs in a four set match against Valparaiso. Averaging eight digs per set and doubling the total of the next person on the team placed Emily as the top performer in the Roadrunners victory.
→ CSU Bakersfield vs. Valparaiso (2017-09-01)
That’s it for the week’s Top Performances. Congratulations to all of the standouts.
An interesting fact was posted on Reddit in the Nebraska-Wisconsin post game thread. Nebraska has been tied or better with 14 seconds to play in every ballgame. I knew that fact in my head, but reading it is somehow different. Ahead or tied in every ballgame with less than a quarter of a minute to play.
It would be easy to write about how Nebraska is crumbling in the clutch. It would be easy to write about coaches who don’t know how to close out a game. It would be easy to be negative. It wouldn’t be honest. Continue Reading »