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First to worst

Those pipes can’t lift the team out of the basement by themselves./Arthur Ward
Those pipes can’t lift the team out of the basement by themselves./Arthur Ward

A look at the U of R’s struggling teams

[Editor’s note: All statistics are current as of Thursday, November 26th. The records of each team have been changed to reflect this past weekend’s results]

This week is the Worst of Regina edition of the Carillon, so for my contribution to the issue, I am going over all the numbers for the teams at the University to find out which team is the worst in the school. I’m not going to lie; this was no easy task, seeing as how there are very few good teams at the U of R and a whole bunch of terrible teams. So, the quantity of teams that I had to look at made this difficult, but what made it even more difficult was the question: How do I compare teams from four different sports with one another? I’ll get to that answer shortly, but first to pick the teams I’ll be comparing. Everyone knows the Rams went 0-8 this year, but there are a ton of other poor teams too, like the men’s hockey team, which is currently 4-10 (as of this writing), and the men’s volleyball team, which is 1-9. On the women’s side, the volleyball team is 1-10, while the soccer team was 1-10-3, with their only win coming due to a forfeit because of an ineligible player for the University of Winnipeg.

I eliminated both the men’s hockey and volleyball teams from the running for worst team because they have won at least one game, which makes them better than many other teams based on that alone. Sad, but true. So we are left with women’s soccer, the Rams and up until Saturday evening, women’s volleyball.

I compared them by looking at points for and against for all the teams (I used sets won and lost as the points for and against for volleyball, since they don’t have the same scoring system), then put that up against the most average teams in their divisions to see, on a per-game basis, which team was worse compared to the league average.        Starting with soccer, the Cougars were outscored this season 27-8 in fourteen games, giving them 1.93 GA/G (goals against per game) and a measly .57 GF/G (goals for per game). The closest team to the .500 mark in their division was the University of Manitoba with a record of 5-7-2. Manitoba had 24 GF and 22GA, good enough for a 1.7 GF/G and 1.6 GA/G. I’ll come back to these numbers at the end.

Moving on to the volleyball team. In their ten games this season, so far they have only won 5 sets and have lost 30. This gives them a .5 SW/G (sets won per game) and 3 SL/G. With the same number of games played, Mount Royal is smack-dab in the middle of the standings with a 5-5 record. In their ten games, they have 18 SW or 1.8 SW/G and 20 SL, or 2.0 SL/G. Just like before, I will come back to these.

The Rams are the final team on the hot seat. In eight games the Rams gave up 339 points and only scored 177. That is an average of 42.4 PA/G and 22.1 PF/G. For this example I compare the Rams numbers to the combined numbers of the 5-3 Manitoba Bisons and the 3-5 Huskies, to get a better representation of the average. In the combined sixteen games for the Huskies and Bisons, they scored 524 points and gave up 553 points. That equals out to a 32.8 PF/G and 34.6 PA/G.

So combining all the numbers now, the soccer team has allowed 1.2 times more goals against per game than the average Manitoba team, which isn’t too bad at all. However, they scored a whopping three times less goals per game than the same Manitoba team. Compared to the average of both the U of S and Manitoba, the Rams have allowed 1.22 times more P/G, and have scored 1.48 times less P/G, which are two pretty close numbers and show that they were close in more games than they got blown out in. The volleyball team has the largest gap of any of the three teams in the PA/G category at 1.5 times more SL/G. They also have the largest gap in the PF/G category at 3.6 times less SW/G than Mount Royal. So without further adieu, ladies and gentleman, the worst team at the University of Regina is the Cougars women’s volleyball team.

When it comes to fixing these damaged teams, there are different ways for each. For the Rams, I honestly believe we will see them turn it around sooner rather than later. It is just going to take a year or two for the new coach to teach his new system, and for him to make his stamp on the recruiting. I think the Rams are in a good spot for improvement. When it comes to the soccer team that I honestly didn’t even know existed (and why should I?), they won one game due to forfeit. Maybe it’s just a matter of promoting more and getting more people to notice them and more girls interested in coming to this school for soccer. It could be as simple as that. As for volleyball, seeing as how they were fourth in 09-10 and sixth in 12-13, but otherwise have been near or at the bottom of the standings every year, maybe it is going to take a major change to see them actually become a good team. A total reboot to how they’re coached, how athletes are recruited, and the team’s mentality may be the only way to see Cougars volleyball turn it around.

About Harrison Brooks