As she puts her body on the line to collect excellent digs, Kath Arado kept unearthing individual and team accolades. No wonder The Quick Cat had a volleyball year for the ages.
Despite the UE Lady Warriors’ 2-12 record during UAAP Season 80, she was named Best Digger and Best Receiver of the tournament. Little did we know that she is just getting started.
Two for two
The talented libero from Iligan City was on double duty for the past two months as UE joined the inaugural PSL Collegiate Grand Slam while the Generika Ayala Lifesavers are competing in the same league’s All-Filipino Conference. Playing alone in one major volleyball tournament is physically demanding, much more participating in two at the same time. There were even instances when Arado would play for Generika an hour or so after she just finished a match with the Lady Warriors.
But while she was shuffling in between teams, a unifying truth emerge: Arado has been excellent in both competitions. What makes her plight more commendable is that she is playing a position where she had to contort her body at odd angles just to keep the ball alive. The tremendous effort she gave on the court is a big reason why both the Red Warriors and the Lifesavers won the bronze medals in their respective tournaments.
Best libero by the numbers
Yet a quick dive into her stats will provide full appreciation of Arado’s display all conference long. In the six games she played during the Collegiate Grand Slam, she tallied 101 excellent digs out of 151. That translates to a 66.8% success rate in that department which means that she was saving two out of three attacks coming her direction. By the way, she amassed that many digs in just 22 total sets which corresponds to a shade under five per set. Her best performances during the CGS are her 30 digs in 43 attempts against the UP Lady Maroons and her 27 out of 37 tries in a five-setter versus the FEU Lady Tamaraws.
Arado is as equally impressive in the All Filipino Conference by gathering 298 excellent digs in 443 chances. That boils down to a 67.3% conversion rate which is just a shade above two out of three balls. With Generika Ayala playing 48 sets in 13 games, The Quick Cat averaged 6.2 digs per set. Those saves helped the Lifesavers stay in long rallies and collect points they should have given otherwise. As the anchor of their floor defense, Arado was a key contributor in a magical run that saw them win eight of their last ten games including six straight spanning two preliminary rounds.
There’s no denying the stellar roster of liberos in the PSL at the moment. But while Dawn Macandili, Ria Duremdes, Denden Lazaro, Jheck Dionela does have a say in being Best Libero, Arado was just a notch above them this competition. Yet to be great in two simultaneous tourneys is simply remarkable. At age 20, she still has a lot of volleyball left in her tank. As great as she is now, Kath Arado has time on her side in taking her game to greater heights.