There’s really no secret to what the Lady Spikers do

While our players don’t figure prominently in the individual stats areas, our team is actually solid in all areas.

No one player dominates in any category. All players on the floor contribute in different areas, and each player is skilled enough to deliver in other aspects.

While our first string setter Cobb is the primary distributor, all players can pass the ball well enough. Rookie Alba has shown that she can run our offense equally well. Our floor defense is not dependent solely on the libero – everyone is proficient in reception and digging, and no one is a liability that other teams can target when serving.

It’s an indication of the all around skills and abilities of the players that we’ve had Player of the Game honors for almost everyone on the starting six. No other team has that many different POG awardees.

So if the coaches of the playoff-bound teams want to figure out a plan against the Lady Spikers, all they have to do is watch out for offense coming from 5 out of the 6 players on the court, whether at the net or from the back row. Because those are realistically where the scoring threats are from. They also have to try to read our serves, because that’s an integral part of our game. Serves which are either outright aces or which result in bad first passes tend to discombobulate the other team’s offensive patterns. Our players usually turn easy returns into bullets across the net.

Ateneo has the tallest frontline in Madayag-Tolentino-de Leon, and any two of them will form a formidable wall that’s difficult to hit past. But they didn’t have a single kill block against us last weekend because their net defense had been thoroughly dissected.

Our offense came from different players, no single player dominating the action. The blue net defense was keyed to stop our open and opposite hitters, and were often caught flatfooted by the quick middle and slide plays that Cobb dished out to Clemente and Ogunsanya. They expected hard shots from our hitters, and were confused by the softer shots that floated over their outstretched arms and dropped into the empty spaces behind the blockers.

Our long shots to the open corners were devastatingly effective as well. When they spread out the backrow defenses, gaps opened up in the middle. With so much variation in our game, it was difficult for the other team. And confusing.

Ramil’s system of training and preparation produces very well rounded players, but we rarely have anyone who might conceivably be tagged as “phenom”, unlike other schools. Yet even without anyone being labeled as a superstar, our players have excelled in the UAAP and in the pro ranks.

So, yes, there’s no secret to the Lady Spikers. All opponents have to do is watch out for everyone. Good luck with that.

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