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Seems intuitive that it does, right? If that's true, do our Lady Vols have enough height? It seemed we were often getting killed by taller players but I wondered if the perceived advantage held by taller teams was real? Was height the real reason we didn't fare so well in the tournament against Washington State, for instance. After spending a few hours doing some digging, I think it might be.

Without the details, I thought I could possibly obtain a rough measure of the advantage of height by looking at this year's Elite Eight teams in comparison to the Lady Vols. Here's what I think I learned.

First, there are some really tall women volleyball players out there. I was surprised at the number of players that were 6'4" or taller, even as tall as 6'8". Wow!

Second, all 8 of the Elite Eight teams had an average player height (excluding defenders, Libero, and setters) of around 6' 2.25." The Lady Vols we a bit shorter at 6' 1.25." Why did I exclude the setters, defenders, and Libero from my calculations you ask? Because I wanted to focus on hitters and blockers, the girls that seemed to do us the most damage. So does an inch in average player height really make a difference? Well...maybe.

Next, I thought "do having

But doesn't intuition tell us that? Yep, it likely does. But what happens when these Elite Eight teams play each other? Do the teams with the greatest number of players 6'3 and over always win?

Well, let's see. The tallest team in my analysis was Wisconsin which had an average height of 6' 2.5", a "Big 3" height (height of their three tallest players) of 6' 5.25" and had 5 players 6'3" or taller, was defeated by Illinois that averaged 6' 2", a "Big 3" of 6' 3", and also had 5 players 6' 3" or taller. So does this mean that superior height doesn't always win? Yep, that seems to be what it means, but maybe not.

Consider this, The second, third, and fourth tallest teams all won their matches against three of the four shortest teams in the Elite Eight. Stanford, the second tallest team beat Penn State the fifth tallest team, BYU, the third tallest team swept Texas the next to shortest team, and Nebraska the fourth tallest team swept Oregon the shortest team.

So what are we to make of this? Well, here's what I think I can say based on this very very limited and somewhat arbitrary research:

To win,

So (speaking in my best Donald Trump voice), Coach Rackham, if you're listening, you need to go out and get us some taller players. The good news is we can keep Lily even if she is just 5'11"

Without the details, I thought I could possibly obtain a rough measure of the advantage of height by looking at this year's Elite Eight teams in comparison to the Lady Vols. Here's what I think I learned.

First, there are some really tall women volleyball players out there. I was surprised at the number of players that were 6'4" or taller, even as tall as 6'8". Wow!

Second, all 8 of the Elite Eight teams had an average player height (excluding defenders, Libero, and setters) of around 6' 2.25." The Lady Vols we a bit shorter at 6' 1.25." Why did I exclude the setters, defenders, and Libero from my calculations you ask? Because I wanted to focus on hitters and blockers, the girls that seemed to do us the most damage. So does an inch in average player height really make a difference? Well...maybe.

Next, I thought "do having

*really*tall girls make a bigger difference?" In an attempt to find out I decided to look at two statistics. The number of players on each team that are 6'3" or taller and also the average height of each team's three tallest players. What was revealed is that of the Elite Eight teams, they averaged having 4.5 players equal to or taller than 6'3" and their three tallest players averaged 6' 3.25." Our LdayVols were at 2 players 6'3" or taller averaging 6'3" in height. So not a lot of difference you say? Well, yes on one hand, but if you look at the number of players other teams have that are 6'3" or taller, 4.5, I think the real difference begins to come to light. Having*more*tall players is a definite advantage.But doesn't intuition tell us that? Yep, it likely does. But what happens when these Elite Eight teams play each other? Do the teams with the greatest number of players 6'3 and over always win?

Well, let's see. The tallest team in my analysis was Wisconsin which had an average height of 6' 2.5", a "Big 3" height (height of their three tallest players) of 6' 5.25" and had 5 players 6'3" or taller, was defeated by Illinois that averaged 6' 2", a "Big 3" of 6' 3", and also had 5 players 6' 3" or taller. So does this mean that superior height doesn't always win? Yep, that seems to be what it means, but maybe not.

Consider this, The second, third, and fourth tallest teams all won their matches against three of the four shortest teams in the Elite Eight. Stanford, the second tallest team beat Penn State the fifth tallest team, BYU, the third tallest team swept Texas the next to shortest team, and Nebraska the fourth tallest team swept Oregon the shortest team.

So what are we to make of this? Well, here's what I think I can say based on this very very limited and somewhat arbitrary research:

To win,

*you need tall girls and lots of them!*You won't always win, but you'll win most of the time!So (speaking in my best Donald Trump voice), Coach Rackham, if you're listening, you need to go out and get us some taller players. The good news is we can keep Lily even if she is just 5'11"

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