Inside the metrics: Breaking down Hawai’i vs. Stanford, Player of Week

[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.]

Match of the week: Hawai’i vs. Stanford
Hawai’i once again is featured in the VolleyMetrics Match of the Week after upsetting No. 2/1 UCLA last week. This week it matches up against VMRI No. 1 Stanford in a battle of the statistically best in the nation.

Stanford has only lost to No. 3/3 BYU and dropped a match last week to No. 1/2 Long Beach State. The Cardinal look to prove it belongs in the top-five national rankings. Statistically these teams are incredibly evenly matched as you can see by having the rare equal score in Serve. Below is a overview of their ratings.

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Both teams are among top four attacking teams in the nation, with Hawai’i claiming the top spot. Stanford has made its way into the fifth spot in the block category, and both teams claim top four spots in digs. This should be an epic battle between the best offenses and defenses in the nation.

Player breakdown: Brenden Sander, BYU
TheVolleyMetrics Ratings Index has selected BYU outside attacker Brenden Sander as the Player of the Week. Sander was able to help lead the Cougars to two separate victories against No. 10/9 UC Santa Barbara. Sander also recorded a season-high 15 kills in Saturday’s match. The AVCA named Enrique de Diego Garcia of Cal Baptist as their Player of the Week. Below is how the VolleyMetrics Ratings compare them.

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Sander has a large overall edge over Garcia. This in large part is due to Garcia’s zero score in the pass category. Currently the overall score doesn’t account for the fact that Garcia didn’t not attempt a pass. Another reason is the serve differential as Sander outplayed Garcia from behind the end line. However, Garcia was able to obtain higher attack and block scores than Sander.

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From the box score, each player had their own different strengths. Garcia was able to record a total of 45 kills without a single error. He also averaged a .662 hitting percentage throughout his four matches. Sander had a higher kills per game ratio — 3.67 compared to 3.46 — served more aces, and recorded more points per game.

Sander will look to lead BYU again this week as they go on the road to play Princeton and NJIT, while Garcia and Cal Baptist look to build off their four-match win streak with matches against Long Beach State and No. 11 CSUN.