Doc Volleyball: Flying Despite Delay
Despite the struggles they went through the whole season, the Adamson Lady Falcons finally took flight.
Just when it seemed like Adamson Coach Air Padda’s maiden year would end with much disappointment, her squad finally mustered enough perseverance and consistency to tally a win for season 79 of the UAAP. The Adamson Lady Falcons, a team with a rich history of being Final Four contenders, finally broke their 20-game losing skid by exacting their revenge on the University of the East Lady Warriors. After struggling the whole season in translating their A-game in practices to the actual match, Adamson was finally able to get a convincing straight set win in dominant fashion. The Lady Falcons dispatched the Lady Warriors 25-15, 25-19, 25-15 to close out their season.
Set 1 (AdU 25-15)
In the first set, both teams had a slow start in terms of their side-out game. Both Lady Falcons and Lady Warriors struggled in the early game in notching up first point conversion (FPC) kills. Adamson was notably passing high and going for a lot of double quick attempts that proved successful while UE tallied a few hits primarily from the left wing. Both teams had highly varied service target locations with Adamson more successful at disrupting the UE offense whenever they serve to zone 1.
During the mid-game, the Lady Falcons were able to pull away due to a higher FPC rate at 75% (3 out of 4 attempts).
On the other hand, despite the exceptional floor defense by Lady Warrior libero Kath Arado, the set-ups were high and predictable and there were several attacking errors.
Not only that, the Lady Warriors were out-blocked as the Lady Falcons took flight and manned the net with a couple of kill blocks and several checks. The Lady Falcons dominated the attack with the collaboration of Bern Flora and captain Jema Galanza at the left wing, and middle Joy Dacoron who finally gave a breakout game. The Lady Falcons had a commendable total FPC rate at 36% (5 out of 14 attempts) compared to the Lady Warriors’ 20% (4 out of 20 attempts).
Set 2 (AdU 25-19)
The Lady Falcons were off to a dominant start in the second set. Noticeable strategies aside from the double quick include maximizing the pipe or middle back row attack care of Galanza.
The Lady Warriors were quick to adjust by doing better quality serves but the locations were not ideal enough to disrupt the Adamson attack strategy. Likewise, the Lady Falcons were less aggressive in terms of their serves but they made up for it with aggressive defense at the net. Adamson also ensured that their plays were fast enough whenever the ball was coming off a good pass or dig.
UE made a decent run mid-game with multiple FPCs care of Gabarda from the middle, but they were severely limited on their side out game during the late game. When UE was closing in mid game, Galanza came on a killing spree notching several kills off the first pass as well as in transition counter attack. It is to be noted as well that Adamson had more varied attacks coming from the middle and opposite positions. The UE Lady Warriors ended set two with a 26% first point conversion rate (5 out of 19 attempts) while the Adamson Lady Falcons had a remarkable 47% rating (7 out of 15 attempts).
Set 3 (AdU 25-25)
The early game of the third set showed both teams once again struggling with their side out game. UE was commendably serving more consistently on zone 1 thereby disrupting the Lady Falcons’ offense especially if the later commits a low pass.
However, UE wasn’t able to maximize the opportunity as they weren’t able to tally in points from the transition counter attack. Sets were wide off the net for the Lady Warriors with only Shaya Adorador tallying the most FPCs from the left and right wing.
Adamson was quick to adjust mid-game by serving more consistently on zone 5 and the seam between zone 1 and 6. This proved problematic for UE as their FPC rate was limited from the early to endgame. Galanza and Flora continued to fire away from the wings but most of the FPCs were from Dacoron off the running attack. Due to the hampered Lady Warriors offense, the Lady Falcons were also able to rack in points off faster transition attacks. The poor side-out game of the Lady Warriors translated to their minimal attack output as evidenced also by a rating of 18% on their FPC (4 out of 22 attempts). The Lady Falcons on the other hand finally clinched a match with another remarkable 40% FPC rate (6 out of 15 attempts).
Off to the off-season
The UE Lady Warriors undoubtedly proved to be one of the most improved teams for this season. With their added height and bulk, they proved to other teams that they are no longer pushovers to be taken lightly. Where the Lady Warriors fell short however were their inconsistent execution as well as the erratic connection from the floor to the attack.
Despite the promise in the blocking department their setter Roselle Baliton has proven from the start of the season, she has yet to be consistent in her primary responsibility, which is to put the ball on a good attacking location. With her bulk and upper body strength, she is definitely capable of running shoot sets for faster attack. For that to be a possibility though, she is still yet to improve on her agility and footwork so as to be able to square better at the net.
With notable attackers like Adorador and Judith Abil, Coach Francis Vicente can definitely make UE a more significant threat next season if they can smoothen out their transition from the pass to the set and eventually the attack.
On the other hand, despite the struggles they went through the whole season, the Lady Falcons finally took flight. Adamson was able to show the style of play the coaching staff has been yearning to see translated from their practices.
The Lady Falcons proved to themselves that they can play aggressively both on offense and defense at the net with minimal errors. It’s interesting to note that despite the western background of Coach Padda, she utilized a lot of combination plays to make up for the lack of size of her team. While the volleyball system she came from rely less on crafty combinations, her system’s focus on clean technical execution and sound biomechanics will definitely augment her team’s overall movement inside the court.
The next season will definitely be the start of the real challenge for the Lady Falcons. Much will be expected from them here on since the off season will give them enough time to improve areas they lacked such as physicality and consistency.
Likewise, the promise of noteworthy recruits and returning players will further increase the expectations on the team.