Comparing the 2018 Long Beach State team to this year’s team

Photo courtesy of Long Beach State athletics.

Jonathan Bates | Off The Block associate editor

Long Beach State has played 12 of its 26 regular season matches so far this season, so it is a good time to compare this year’s team to last year’s national championship team.

Before digging in, let’s make sure we acknowledge that the most difficult stretch of Long Beach State’s schedule is still ahead of them. The 12 teams they have played so far are a combined 60-71 (.458 winning percentage). Only three of those teams have winning record – Barton, UCLA, and USC. Note: Records through Feb. 11.

OpponentWinLoss
Grand Canyon77
Concordia58
Harvard16
Mount Olive46
Barton63
UCLA102
USC74
Lindenwood48
Quincy48
McKendree45
Penn State46
Ohio State48
Totals6071

The combined record of the 14 teams remaining on their schedule is 116-50 (.699 winning percentage.) Conversely, only UC San Diego (two matches) has a losing record of their remaining opponents. Note: Some teams’ records appear twice because they have two remaining regular season matches against Long Beach State.

OpponentWinLoss
UCLA102
CSUN75
CSUN75
Stanford75
St. Francis65
UC Santa Barbara113
UC Santa Barbara113
USC74
UC Irvine122
UC Irvine122
UC San Diego57
UC San Diego57
Hawai’i80
Hawai’i80
Totals11650

For comparison, the 49ers’ opponents last year had a combined record of 455-371 (.551 winning percentage). Take out the four postseason matches (vs. CSUN and Hawai’i in the Big West Tournament, and vs. Ohio State and UCLA in the NCAA Tournament), and their opponents’ record was a combined 369-338 (.522 winning percentage)

The 2019 team has the statistical advantage over the 2018 team in the following categories:

  • Kills/Game
  • Attack Percentage
  • Assists/Game
  • Service Aces/Game

The 2018 team has the statistical advantage over the 2019 team in the following categories:

  • Attack Errors/Game
  • Service Errors/Game
  • Reception Errors/Game
  • Digs/Game
  • Blocks/Game
2018Statistic2019
101Sets Played37
29Matches Played12
1292Kills500
12.79Kills/Game13.51
0.375Attack Pct0.431
310Attack Errors116
3.07Attack Errors/Game3.14
1221Assists468
12.09Assists/Game12.65
180Service Aces79
1.78Service Aces/Game2.14
436Service Errors185
4.32Service Errors/Game5
89Reception Errors39
0.88Reception Errors/Game1.05
945Digs306
9.36Digs/Game8.27
243Blocks58.5
2.41Blocks/Game1.58
0.551Opponent W/L Pct.0.458

The 2019 team is making more errors than the 2018 team. Also, the 2019 team’s blocks could increase as the quality of their competition increases.

Individually, one difference from 2018 to 2019 is that Louis Richard has replaced Bjarne Huus as a starting outside attacker. Statistically, Richard is a more efficient attacker than Huus, but Huus was a better passer and blocker. The most glaring statistic is Richard has been aced more times in 12 matches this season than Huus did all of last season.

HuusStatisticRichard
96Sets Played32
28Matches Played12
168Kills60
1.75Kills/Set1.88
0.285Attack Pct0.407
53Attack Errors10
0.55Attack Errors/Set0.31
34Assists8
0.35Assists/Game0.25
21Service Aces7
0.22Service Aces/Set0.22
79Service Errors29
0.82Service Errors/Set0.91
15Reception Errors16
0.16Reception Errors/Set0.50
138Digs46
1.44Digs/Set1.44
50Blocks5
0.52Blocks/Set0.16
0.551Opponent W/L Pct.0.458