This is Part 3 of our 3-part series comparing stats from the 2012 and 2013 seasons, to stats from the 2016 season — in this post, comparing recept/dig stats. Part 1 (Click Here) compared attack stats and Part 2 (Click Here) compared blocking stats.
Here’s why we’re interested in the comparison. Think back to 2013. Penn State had come oh-so-close to making the NCAA finals in 2012, losing to Oregon, 3-1 in a tough match in which sophomore setter Micha Hancock was injured in the second set, limiting her effectiveness for the rest of the match.
In 2013, the Nittany Lions returned almost everyone from that 2012 squad — including Jr. libero Dom Gonzalez, Jr. DS Lacey Fuller, Jr. setter Hancock, Sr. OH Deja McClendon, and So. OH Megan Courtney. That 2013 team built on their experience from the 2012 season to capture the NCAA Title in Seattle, taking down the home town Washington Huskies in a dominating sweep in the Semifinals, and holding off a tenacious and talented Wisconsin team 3-1 in the Finals.
Penn State has pretty much everyone back in 2017, too. We’re not predicting an NCAA title for Penn State in 2017, and the point here really isn’t to compare the 2012/2013 players to the 2016 players — although to some extent that’s an inevitable conclusion some will make, given the comparison of their statistics.
Of greater interest to us was to see how the statistics from 2012 weren’t necessarily all that different from the statistics in 2016. And, equally (or more) important — how many of the players improved, statistically, from 2012 to 2013. Although there’s no guarantee, it’s not unrealistic to anticipate improvement from 2016 to 2017.
For a variety of reasons — not least of which was exceptional talent — in 2016, Fr. libero Kendall White registered terrific digging statistics in 2016 (4.13 digs/set), and totaled 21 serve receive errors. By comparison, Dom Gonzalez’s statistics actually declined a bit from 2012 to 2013 (3.66 digs/set to 3.28 digs/set), but we’re pretty sure Head Coach Russ Rose would say 2013 Dom Gonzalez was better than 2012 Dom Gonzalez. 2013 So. OH Megan Courtney was, statistically speaking, much better than 2012 Fr. OH Megan Courtney — 2.51 digs/set compared to 1.97 digs/set. Even though lots of things factor into statistics like that, Coach Rose would almost certainly agree that 2013 Megan Courtney was better than 2012 Megan Courtney.
It will be interesting to see how the 2017 team improves. Below is the table that makes the comparison for recept/dig statistics.
Note: The table is sortable by clicking on the arrows at the top of each column.
Returning Talent (Part 3): 2016 Recept/Dig Stats Compared with 2012/13 Recept/Dig Stats
- File created to show of abilities of EasyPlot for the [List of information graphics software] — 2nd try. By Bseegmiller. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.