Inside the VolleyMetrics: Rally, Player of the Week honors

[Editor’s note: Off the Block is partnering with VolleyMetrics this season to provide the volleyball community with an in-depth analysis at the stats and in-match metrics for college men’s volleyball. The following analysis is from VolleyMetrics.]

This past week showcased several individuals who have led their teams to impressive starts early in the season. As we ran our analysis on who should be recognized as Player of the Week, two players stood out from the rest: Ohio State outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen and Long Beach State outside attacker TJ DeFalco. Each player fared with our ratings compared to the league average for the week.

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The AVCA voted for TJ DeFalco to win his first National Player of the Week award, but our VolleyMetrics analysis awarded Nicolas Szerszen as he barely edged out TJ for the top spot. Below is a box score of the two games they each played this past week:

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Hitting percentage was a crucial variable in the overall ranking. Szerszen hit an impressive .626 this week while playing in six games, compared to DeFalco’s percentage of .397 in 8 games. Szerszen’s efficiency was boosted by his 18 kill game against George Mason when he hit .773 on 22 attempts. Szerszen recorded an average of 1.5 errors per match, which is almost four times less than DeFalco (5.5 errors permatch).

Ohio State swept both of their opponents, handily beating Erskine and George Mason, while DeFalco’s Long Beach State team propelled itself to the No. 2/3 rankings by beating Cal Baptist and USC, each in four games. Both of these players had impressive weeks, and it will be enjoyable to see how they perform in their upcoming matches. Szerszen and Ohio State face Coker and Pfeiffer this week, while Long Beach State take on BYU twice at home.

The Rally of the Week this week comes from Stanford versus BYU on Friday. Enjoy.