Doc Volleyball: How the Lady Eagles beat the Lady Spikers

AJ Pareja on Mar 08, 2017 11:24 AM
How the Lady Eagles beat the Lady Spikers
First Point Conversion (FPC) rates proved to be the big difference in the first round meeting between Ateneo and La Salle.

Old rivalries were revisited while new ones were further fortified.

In last Saturday’s matchup, former powerhouses Far Eastern University (FEU) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) battled it out with UST emerging victorious in four sets, 25-16, 21-25, 26-24 and 25-20. UST’s victory propelled them further as a final four contender with a win-loss record of 4-3 after a slow start in the first round. UST is currently in a quadruple third place tie with FEU, National University (NU), and University of the Philippines (UP).

While four teams are making it a royal rumble for the third spot, the two rivals Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) and De La Salle University (DLSU) are enjoying the top of the pack at 1 and 2 respectively. It was indeed the highlight of the weekend as the Lady Eagles of Ateneo showed tremendous fortitude to claim sets which were almost owned by the Lady Spikers of La Salle. Despite having slow starts for most of the sets, the Lady Eagles eventually found their tail winds towards the end game. Ateneo edged out La Salle in 4 sets 26-24, 26-24, 21-25, 25-17.

It is undeniable that the two most interesting parts of the game were the first and second sets in which La Salle was leading for the most part and reached match point first only to find themselves in quite a struggle closing the deal.

In the first and second sets, Ateneo was playing catch-up from the get go and will eventually gain momentum in the end game to claim the set. While it may be quite hard to understand the reason for La Salle’s inability to close the set, a quick look at their first point conversion (FPC) trends can give a good picture of their side out game. As discussed in the previous analysis, first point conversion rate is an overlooked stat but it’s capability to analyze a team’s performance is invaluable. First point conversion measures a team’s capability to score off a point from passing an opponent’s serve in only one attempt. The general principle behind it is that a team has to maintain a high first point conversion rate by passing, setting and attacking efficiently while limiting the opponent’s first point conversion rate through aggressive serving or effective transition counter attack.

End Game Challenges

In the first set of the match, La Salle came out strong courtesy of their most dominant hitters, Dy from the opposite and Baron from the middle. By the first technical timeout, LaSalle had a commanding lead of 8-4. Looking at their first point conversion at this segment, they had 4 successful tallies out of 5 attempts giving them a remarkable 80% FPC rate. On the other hand, Ateneo’s FPC rate was limited to only 20% with one successful point out of 5 attempts. Early on, La Salle was consistently serving on zone 1 of the Ateneo floor making it challenging for the Lady Eagles to setup an effective play. By the mid-game, there was a dip in La Salle’s FPC rate with only 2 points out of 8 attempts (25%) while Ateneo started to gain momentum with 3 points out of eight attempts (60%). Despite Ateneo gaining momentum, La Salle still had command of the game towards the end with 4 successful first point conversions majority care of Baron to earn them match point. It was until this point when La Salle’s FPC rate took a dip when a series of attack errors gave Ateneo a 5-0 run. Ateneo, despite having poor serve locations throughout the set, was able to serve consistently to La Salle’s zone 5 in the end game which proved troublesome for the lady spikers. Despite having a higher FPC rate for the entire set, La Salle lost because their FPC trend was downward as compared to Ateneo which was gaining momentum.

1st Set

First Point Conversion rate (success/attempts)

1st TTO

2nd TTO

End Game

Total

Ateneo

20% (1/5)

37.5% (3/8)

29% (2/7)

30%

La Salle

80% (4/5)

25% (2/8)

33% (4/12)

40%

Figure 1.1 first point conversion rate set 1

In the second set of the match, La Salle started strong once again to get a commanding lead of 8-4 by the first technical timeout. Though the lady spikers had a lower FPC rate at this point (20%), 3 service aces helped them not only in getting the lead but in limiting the FPC rate of Ateneo at 29%. In the second third of the match, La Salle was in complete dominance as they were able to limit Ateneo’s first point conversion to 0 out of 7 attempts by serving consistently to zone 1 and its seam with zone 6. Early on mid-game, La Salle had a 50% FPC rate until Ateneo’s De Leon started serving consistently to zone 1 making La Salle unable to convert in succeeding attempts reducing their FPC rate to 17%. In the end game, La Salle was able to recover and make a 4-0 run from an 18-all dead lock and further reach match point. However, consistent zone 1 serving from Ateneo’s Madayag and Morente disrupted La Salle’s offensive play limiting the later’s FPC rate to only 10%. Once again, Ateneo was able to steal the set due to an upward FPC trend as compared to La Salle’s downward FPC trend.

2nd Set

First Point Conversion rate (success/attempts)

1st TTO

2nd TTO

End Game

Total

Ateneo

29% (2/6)

0% (0/7)

33% (3/9)

22%

La Salle

20% (1/5)

17% (1/6)

10% (1/10)

14%

 Figure 1.2 first point conversion rate set 2

It was a different story in the third set as Ateneo was the first to lead 8-5 by the end of the first technical timeout. With Morente continuously bombarding La Salle’s zone 1, the Lady Eagles were able to limit La Salle’s FPC success at 1 out of 8 attempts (13%). The trend continued in the 2nd third of the game with Ateneo having a higher FPC rate at 29% compared to La Salle’s 14%. In the end game however, La Salle found a spark plug in Luna who blasted away with a first point conversion kill and 2 service aces to significantly drop Ateneo’s FPC rate to 22%. Ateneo’s passing errors in the end game proved costly as it reduced their FPC rate at a crucial point which then led to their loss of the set. Despite having lower rates all throughout, La Salle was still able to claim the set due to an upward FPC trend.

3rd set

First Point Conversion rate (success/attempts)

1st TTO

2nd TTO

End Game

Total

Ateneo

20% (1/5)

29% (2/7)

22% (2/9)

24%

La Salle

13% (1/8)

14% (1/7)

17% (1/6)

14%

 Figure 1.3 first point conversion rate set 3

Sealing the Deal

Coming off from a 3rd set momentum, La Salle was toe to toe with Ateneo in the early parts of the 4th set. La Salle was able to tally 2 points out of 7 first point conversion attempts (29%) while limiting Ateneo to only 1 out of 7 attempts (14%). What spelled the difference however was the remarkable 6-0 run of Ateneo in the mid game care of Morado’s consistent zone 1 serving. Ateneo was able to limit La Salle’s FPC rate to 0 (0 out of 7 attempts) while securing a 100% rate on their part (1 out 1 attempt). It was highly notable that Baron was silent throughout this set despite being the leading first point converter for La Salle in the previous sets. In the end game, La Salle’s Ogunsanya stepped out and fired away 3 successful conversions for La Salle but it was a little too late for the Lady Spikers as the Lady Eagles held their ground with an equal 33% FPC rate to eventually claim the match.

4th set

First Point Conversion rate (success/attempts)

1st TTO

2nd TTO

End Game

Total

Ateneo

14% (1/7)

100% (1/1)

33% (2/6)

29%

La Salle

29% (2/7)

0% (0/7)

33% (3/9)

22%

 Figure 1.4 first point conversion rate set 4

Conclusion

Overall, the total first point conversion rates are 26% for Ateneo and 23% for La Salle. While the total FPC rate was once again successful to predict the outcome of the match at first glance, knowing the trend of such statistic is equally important since it gives a clear picture of how a team fares from start to finish. Throughout the game, both teams are successful in limiting each other’s FPC rate by serving into zone 1. Likewise, in the first to third set of the match, the team leading early on (La Salle in set 2, Ateneo in set 3) is noted to have a crucial reduction in their FPC rate in the end game which eventually costs them the set. While many other factors such as points and errors are easier to notice in a match, the first point conversion is one aspect that teams can look into to further increase their level of play.

 

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