Alright tonight the game between UCI and BYU was decent. I have to say that I was kind of bored and it would seem like both teams have a lot to improve on before the season is over. Here are some things that I notice through out the game
Last week I remembering watching the game when they played against Long Beach and I am glad to see that they improved in one area of their game. That was their serving. If you can’t serve the ball well you are going to lose. However, one aspect that BYU really needs to work on in order to improve their game will be setting the middle blockers more. Right now, BYU has a tendency to set the pin hitters way to much. In fact, if I were a team, I would have my pin blockers just cheat over to the pin hitters at all times. I would also set up my back row defenders to cover angle until the hitters learned to hit line. Most of the time when BYU is hitting at the pins, they tend to hit angle. Or they try to use their insane vertical to jump over the block. If BYU where to set the middle more, it would cause the blockers of any team to lose their ability to block unless they are really good at read blocking. Last week Long Beach was able to get three blockers on BYU almost every single time because they knew where the ball was going most of the time.
Almost every time BYU sets their middles, it results in an instant kill. The setter for BYU needs to have more faith in setting the middles. He also needs to learn to set the middle from close to the ten foot line. The Middles for BYU might also want to consider running three’s if the setter is close to the ten foot line because most teams wouldn’t expect the middles to get set in those situations. However, if BYU can’t improve its passing they won’t be able to go far. There is only so much the outsides and opposite can do. Spread the ball more BYU and make the blockers hate their life when blocking.
Ok there is a lot that UCI needs to work on as well. I heard someone say in the crowd that UCI is playing a lot of Freshman but I will have to look more into that before I say that they are in a rebuilding more. I feel like the Middles were under used to night for UCI. A lot of times it seemed like the where setting the pins at all times. Like I said all you have to do to beat BYU is to cheat on the pins, well you can literally do that for UCI. The Middles where no where to be found tonight. The Middle had a combination of only 10 attempts to get kills. I do not think their passing wasn’t that bad, but they just didn’t seem to set the middles as well. The few times that I did see the middles get attempts it usually resulted in them making mistakes. I will give credit where credit is due because the Middles for Irvine did get 4 kills but still only ten sets to get four kills? Come on Irvine spread the ball more.
Finally serving for UCI needs a huge improvement. I mean set three the match ended with UCI serving the ball out of bounds. UCI really needs to work on their serving for their practice. Their serves have a decent enough heat when they hit the ball to serve, but you just don’t seem to know when the ball is going to make it over or not. Finally, if Irvine is going to improve their season, the blockers need to press more. UCI kept getting touches on the balls when they were blocking, but they need to press more. Back in 2012 and 2013 when they won the NCAA they had one of the best blocks. Reason being was that they were pressing when blocking. Tomorrow’s match should be interesting but hopefully these teams can make the adjustments that are needed in order to win.