Inside the Metrics: Statistical preview for No. 1/1 UCLA vs. No. 3/3 BYU

[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.]

BYU and UCLA are the only two teams to have been No. 1 in the AVCA coaches poll, dropped out of the top ranking and then recaptured it later in the season. Those two teams now meet up for a two-match series starting Friday as No. 1/1 UCLA plays hosts No. 3/3 BYU.

Both teams have played well enough to garner national attention this season.

UCLA on the road swept No. 5/5 Long Beach State last week. This win was enough for the Bruins to catapult past No. 2/1 Ohio State in the coaches poll, even though Ohio State beat No. 9/9 Ball State last week.

BYU has 17 out of its last 18 matches, including 16 sweeps. The graphics below is how the VMRI rates these two teams and the team fundamental comparisons.

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UCLA is far superior to BYU when it comes to serving. However, the data has shown that serving has a very small effect on winning and losing.

BYU has a significant advantage in attacking, the skill that has the greatest effect on match win percentage.

The Cougars are the highest rated attacking team in our data. BYU’s tremendous attacking ability has allowed them to win despite their extremely low serving score.

According to our multiple models, UCLA is predicted to come away with a win. However, when directly comparing both teams’ fundamentals and how they match up against one another, BYU was actually predicted to have a 60 percent chance of beating UCLA on the road.