Structured dominance: Reviewing the Creamline Cool Smashers’ 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference campaign

With the rise of a powerful rival, the Creamline Cool Smashers fell short of defending their title as they finished silver in the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference.

Despite drawing first blood in the best-of-three championship series, the Cool Smashers failed to contain the offensive prowess of champions Petro Gazz Angels to settle for second in the recently concluded conference.

While they failed to defend their crown, Creamline still played dominant and systematic all throughout the tournament, displaying well-rounded games in both offense and defense.

With the local players led by team captain Alyssa Valdez combined with their foreign reinforcements Kuttika Kaewpin and Aleoscar Blanco, the Cool Smashers saw consistent collective efforts with every game as the scoring duties were distributed evenly.

Valdez continued her dominance in the league as she was given the Conference Most Valuable Player and 2nd Best Outside Hitter awards. The team captain finished as her team’s second best scorer and tenth in the tournament after the elimination round with 120 points, along with finishing in the top ten of three departments–first in serving, sixth in spiking, tenth in digging–for an all-around game.

Kaewpin and Blanco also proved to be good additions to the team, finishing as the fifth and twelfth best scorers with 154 and 104 points respectively. The Thai reinforcement turned out to be the most well-rounded player for Creamline, finishing in the top ten of four departments–first in receiving, third in spiking, and sixth in both serving and digging.

Jia Morado continued her amazing play anew as she finished as the conference’s best setter with 5.94 average excellent sets per set, while also finishing tenth in the service department with 0.38 average aces per set.

In terms of team performance, the Cool Smashers showed their dominance in setting and serving, finishing first in both departments with 6.82 average excellent sets and 2.41 average aces per set. They also proved their offensive prowess in the tournament, finishing second behind Petro Gazz in the spiking department with a 37.87 percent success rate.

While they seemed to play a strong all-around game, Creamline particularly found difficulty in their floor defense, with their reception not up to par with their digging excellence. While the Cool Smashers finished second in digging, they finished fourth in receiving with a 31.98 percent efficiency.

Liberos Kyla Atienza and Melissa Gohing struggled throughout the tournament–only the former finished seventh in the digging department. Kaewpin and Valdez, who both carried the team’s offense, also stepped up in floor defense with their defensive specialists not finding their groove.

Despite their overall strength, the Cool Smashers found the one-two punch of Petro Gazz too powerful to defeat, with Wilma Salas and Janisa Johnson denying them a third straight title in the league. Regardless of their second place finish, the Cool Smashers still continues to be the team to beat with their local lineup intact and deep for the upcoming conference.

Creamline is set for vengeance in the upcoming 2019 PVL Open Conference as they look for their third championship in franchise history.

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