Best Outside Hitters in NCAA Women's Volleyball (2022)

Crazy to think Skylar Fields almost wasn't a 1st Team AVCA All-American...

Stacking these rankings against the AVCA awards, we certainly expect a fair amount of overlap. Looking at the 1st Team AA outsides, Fields (our #1), Eggleston (#2), Landfair (#4), Chaussee (#5), and Nuneviller (#7) all make the list.

Surprisingly though, Texas's Madisen Skinner gets booted all the way to 3rd team.

And that brings us to the real question - how do objectively evaluate performance?

Welcome to the world of Expected Value.

We establish value by the difference between expectation and outcome.

If an attacker hits .200 in a match, is that good? Probably depends right? 

Is she an outside? Maybe that's pretty mediocre for an outside.

Is she a middle? That might qualify as a bad night for a middle.

Let's say she's an outside - is she mostly dealt bad situations? 

If she's hitting 0.200 on mostly OOS swings, then she's Brooke Nuneviller.

If she's hitting 0.200 and they're only going to her on in-system opportunities....then she's not having a good night and you won't catch her in the Top 100 of outside hitters.

So context is everything.

Expected Points Added (EPA) calculates the difficulty of the situation and establishes an expectation.

Perfect pass, 1 blocker to beat - maybe you're expected to hit 0.350 on that.

Mediocre pass, OOS attack against 2 blockers - maybe only expected to hit 0.100 in this case.

We establish context for every single attack, so we can fairly evaluate each attacker.

We call this the Expectation.

On the flip side, we know all outcomes are not equivalent.

Kills and errors are easy (+1, -1) - but what about tipping to the libero vs. smashing one at the setter and creating an OOS attack? 

Certainly to the eye test, this aren't the same.

So we look at how much value is created from the attack, by what the opponent's likelihood to score is post-attack.

We called this the Result.

To see how much value the attacker has added, we simply take the result - our expectations.

Expected Value Added = Result - Expectation

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