Three points to take from the Ateneo Lady Eagles win over UP
by rick olivares
The Ateneo Lady Eagles put in a solid performance against the UP Lady Maroons dispatching them in three sets (25-19, 25-21, 25-21) in a Valentine’s Day win to remain undefeated at 4-0. The two-time defending champions know that UP has a good and talented team but they never allowed their foes to really make a game of it.
The scoring, like many other matches, was close for the first half of each set before Ateneo gradually pulled away.
Here are some points to glean from the match.
Good all-around performance!
The Ateneo Lady Eagles played their steadiest game of the first round. I don’t think they were troubled too much with some nifty play that had UP on the back pedal and playing catch up. I think that UP has greatly improved their floor and net defense this year but they were moved around quite a bit. At times, they were befuddled with the Lady Eagles’ offense.
UP used Nicole Tiamzon as they setter thinking she’d make a better blocker against Ateneo’s frontline. But Jerry Yee realized by mid-second set that it wasn’t working well so he brought back Jewel Lai. Tiamzon had a modicum of success hitting while Diana Carlos played well. But all of UP’s other attacking options were mostly kept quiet.
Aside from the fact that everyone came to play, the balanced offense of Ateneo was also due to Jia Morado’s excellent setting. Every single player scored in the first set. When looking at the final score, it seemed surprising that they didn’t score more. But Jia Morado is the conductor to this symphony of volleyball grace with loads of weapons of mass destruction.
Some, like Jhoana Maraguinot didn’t score much, and at a later glance, it seems surprising that she didn’t hit in double figures, but she played well on defense and did make timely hits.
Alyssa Valdez had a quiet but effective game. She was tied with De Leon with 13 points to lead Ateneo (Diana Carlos top scored for the game with 16) but she was solid in all other aspects — receiving, blocking, and serving.
The less she exerts herself and the more balanced scoring means Ateneo is playing well.
Bea De Leon was solid.
Excellent performance on both ends of the floor. Kept the gigil to a minimum and the result was a more economical performance. Not too many net balls or violations.
What a tag team with Maddie Madayag she makes in that middle position.
Well, hello, Jamie Lavitoria!
Given a break in the last match, she proved her worth today at the libero position. While like, Gizelle Tan, a setter who is a converted libero, I think her height helps because her strides and wingspan help her cover the court better. Love her setting too.
UP isn’t a slouch when it comes to attacking but Jamie did great covering the floor. While I like Gizelle Tan (even if there are a lot of critics about her play), I think that she tries to over-compensate by trying to cover a lot thus, crashing into teammates or the attempt to do so finds the team making poor receives. Lavitoria chose her spots. I think it was only once where she and another went for the ball. However, I’d like to see her cover her front row teammates a bit more, something that no one yet kind of approximates something that Denden Lazaro did outstandingly.
But it’s all good. She’ll get better.