Road to Hawaii – AVP Beach Volleyball Stat Trends

Player Performance Data Visualization

With the AVP Hawaii Open starting September 20th, I used my match database to examine recent player stat trends. The analysis covers all players currently scheduled to play in the tournament.

What’s the purpose of this visualization?

The intent is that players, coaches, fans, and commentators can see how different players have progressed over the last 2 years leading up to the Hawaii Open.

Players and coaches can specifically make adjustments to focus on key underperforming areas. They can also study their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses to make adjustments.

What stats are available and what do they mean?

The stats are comprised of tournament averages. For example, if Phil Dalhausser played 3 main draw matches in Chicago, his stats would be averaged together in the chart for that tournament.

  • Hitting Percentage – Signifies the player’s effectiveness at scoring points. Calculated by (Kills – Errors) / Attacks
  • Kills – Point ending attacks
  • Errors – Mistakes
  • Attacks – Attacking swings over the net
  • Aces – Point ending serves
  • Serve Errors – Mistakes made on serve
  • Blocks – Point ending blocks
  • Digs – Successfully defending an attack, i.e. running down an opponent’s shot and passing to your partner

What does the blue line signify?

The blue line signifies a smoothed trend-line of the referenced stat. It is an average of all non-qualifier matches that occurred during a tournament (it can be a decimal, like an average of 1.5 blocks per match).

What does the x-axis signify?

It references the beach volleyball tournament from oldest to newest.

What does the grey region around the line signify?

This signifies the confidence interval. The wider the grey zone, the higher the uncertainty around the data, i.e. there are less data points that make up the average, hence more uncertainty in the estimate.

Player Trend Highlights

(Other players available in table below)

Reid Priddy

Reid Priddy.jpg

This report shows Reid Priddy’s AVP performance over the past 2 years. His hitting percentage has been steadily improving, culminating in a Manhattan Beach win with Trevor Crabb. His kills have increased while his errors have steadily decreased. He’s also steadily improved his aces, while only barely making more service errors, which is a worthwhile tradeoff. His blocks have slightly increased, while digs have zig-zagged a little bit. This is probably due to him split blocking with different partners, rather than being a full time defender.

Looking at hitting percentage alone doesn’t tell the whole story. The stat is made up of kills, errors, and total attacks. It’s even more helpful to know what’s driving the change in the underlying value. For Reid Priddy, his kills and attacks are following the same trend, while his errors are steadily declining. This is no doubt driven by his transition to beach volleyball in 2017. Look for him to continue improving as he takes on Hawaii with long time legend Ricardo Santos.

Billy Allen

Billy Allen.jpg

Billy Allen has recently faltered on his hitting effectiveness, mostly driven by making more errors over the past two seasons. He’s getting served more as evidenced by the increased number of attacks he has been making this season. He also had less digs in the recent Hermosa Beach and Chicago tournaments. On the serving side, he’s getting close to 0 aces per match while making about 2 serving errors per match. One change might be to be more aggressive on the serve or to get it in 100% of the time since it’s not effectively winning points. A key for him will be to reverse the defensive trend by making big defensive plays that pump up his partner Stafford Slick.

Riley McKibbin

Riley McKibbin

Riley McKibbin continues to get served most often between him and Maddison McKibbon. He’s improving the number of kills, and while the hit percentage is relatively flat, it’s showing a slight improvement in 2019. His errors have crept up beginning in Huntington Beach, but they have been slowly improving throughout the 2019 season. He’s recently been more aggressive on his serve, evidenced by the MCKB volleyball Youtube match replays, and it’s shown in 2019, getting to almost 2 aces per match. Serving errors have crept slightly, but under control at around 2 serving errors per match. Look for him to stay super aggressive and running the 2 ball option with Maddison.

April Ross

April Ross

April Ross continues to get served more and more while her partner, Alix Klineman, is getting served less and less. She’s stepping up to meet the challenge by getting more kills, although her hitting percentage is flat and was lower this season than last. She’s recently made more errors, but that stat is improving. Her aces trend is also declining from a peak of around 3 aces per match. She’s won 3 AVP titles with Alix this year, which shows you that stats aren’t everything. Look for her to continue creating opportunities on defense by making over 10 digs per match.

Betsi Flint

Betsi Flint

Betsi Flint has been improving greatly over the past 2 years. Even though her kills and attacks are going down, her hitting percentage is increasing as she has reduced her errors around 22% from last year. She’s also defending well with around 12 digs per match. She has no blocks as she relies on Emily Day to get around 2.5 blocks per match, but even Emily gets around 3 digs up per match as a blocker. This is probably when she pulls back off of the block to defend. They’ve been in 3 AVP finals this year, winning 1. Look for them to remain scrappy on defense to make a run for the title in Hawaii.

Player Stat Links:

Click the link in the table to see the player’s stat trend visualization on Twitter.

Men

Player (Click for Stats) Most Improved Stat % Change vs. 2018
Phil Dalhausser Blocks 14%
Nick Lucena Serving Errors -23%
Taylor Crabb Blocks 272%
Jake Gibb Digs 13%
Chase Budinger Errors -34%
Casey Patterson Serving Errors -34%
Tim Bomgren Digs 287%
Troy Field Aces 13%
Jeremy Casebeer Aces 16%
Chaim Schalk Aces 57%
Maddison McKibbin Blocks 33%
Riley McKibbin Aces 91%
Eric Beranek Hit Percentage 271%
Billy Kolinske (Not Available) N/A N/A
Ryan Doherty Serving Errors -22%
Miles Evans N/A N/A
Billy Allen Kills 25%
Stafford Slick Aces 23%
Avery Drost Aces 44%
Chase Frishman Kills 30%
Trevor Crabb Aces 11%
Tri Bourne Aces 110%
Reid Priddy Blocks 184%
Ricardo Santos Digs 62%

Women

Player (Click for Stats) Most Improved Stat % Change vs. 2018
Alix Klineman Serving Errors -23%
April Ross Blocks 36%
Melissa Humana-Paredes Kills 70%
Sarah Pavan Errors -45%
Kelly Claes Digs 41%
Sarah Sponcil Errors -2%
Emily Day Serving Errors -31%
Betsi Flint Errors -22%
Sara Hughes Aces 16%
Brandie Wilkerson Kills 38%
Kelley Larsen Aces 30%
Emily Stockman Blocks 70%
Karissa Cook Digs 32%
Jace Pardon Blocks 210%
Caitlin Ledoux Aces 18%
Maria Clara Salgado Serving Errors -49%
Terese Cannon Aces 37%
Kelly Reeves Kills 2%
Amanda Dowdy Aces 76%
Corinne Quiggle Serving Errors -26%
Brittany Howard Aces 21%
Molly Turner Digs 37%
Kimberly Hildreth Serving Errors -42%
Sarah Schermerhorn Blocks 127%

Additional Notes

  • All stats except Hit Percentage may be influenced by the length of the match. If a player has more 3 set matches, it could influence the metrics to go up. For example, we would expect a player to have more attacks in a 3 set match than a 2 set match because they are playing more points. Breaking the stats down on a per point basis generally yielded the same trend. 
  • Some stat changes, like blocks or attacks going up or down, could reflect a player changing partners and their normal defensive position (defender or blocker). A change in the number of attacks can also signify that the player is being served more by the opposing team, not necessarily any change the player took.
  • I used my Interactive Player Results Dashboard to supplement my analysis by investigating player partnerships and performance per tournament.

Click here to let me know if you have any feedback or are interested in collaborating!

Edited by: Chase Youngblood

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