Why is Alyssa Valdez so good?

Sunday, 08 Oct 2017
Bernard Waje - Writer - @jhaybernard

Alyssa Valdez is one of the most well known volleyball players in the Philippines and she’s arguably the best player in the country right now, but just how good is Alyssa Valdez and what makes her a great player? Let me break it down for you.

Skills

Physique and athleticism

Not all athletes are gifted with great height or an athletic physique so having either is a great advantage. Alyssa stands 5 foot 9, which makes her fairly tall by Filipino standards.

She’s also known to be a high flyer with a spiking reach of 283 cm and a blocking reach of 279 cm. Compare that to Kim Dy who stands 5 foot 11 only has a spike reach of 280 cm and blocking reach of 270 cm.

Spiking prowess

The Phenom’s most impressive ability is her spiking prowess and scoring ability.

Valdez bagged UAAP’s Best Scorer award in just her second year, and continued to win the same award for the next three years. That shows how she dominated the scoring in collegiate volleyball.

This trend continued in her club career having won several Best Outside Spiker and MVP awards in the PVL (formerly Shakey’s VLeague).

Valdez once averaged a 45.33% spike percentage and that’s very high for an outside hitter. She also broke SVL’s record for most points scored in a match, with 39 points during a 5 setter against Laoag.

The Batangas native can score anywhere from the court and she’s equipped with different variety of attacks, whether it’s a powerful hit, a back row spike or a drop ball, she can do it all.

Other assets

If you think that Jia Morado and Kim Fajardo are great servers, then you can’t fail to appreciate the former Queen Eagle’s serving and UAAP recognised this with 3 Best Server awards. She has an amazing floater serve that takes receivers by surprise, which is one skill that makes her such a deadly server.

Alyssa Valdez is an all around player, excelling even in the defensive end. With a decent height, Valdez is also a threat at the net and can effectively guard opponents. Her floor defense has improved through the years.

Her all round skill was evident In her last year at Ateneo, when she was in the top ten for all departments apart from blocking.

More than just the physical

Molded by great mentors

Valdez has been mentored by some great coaches and molded by their programs over the years. She played her high school career at University of Santo Tomas under the Coaching of Francis Vicente.

Valdez then proceeded to play 5 years of college volleyball for Ateneo De Manila University where she known as the “Phenom” and later became their Queen Eagle. Playing for Ateneo is what made Alyssa Valdez the athlete she is today. She was mentored by Roger Gorayeb during her early years there until Thai coach Tai Bundit took over.

All these coaches have huge experience and had a big impact on Valdez’s game.

Milestone after milestone

The Phenom made her mark on Philippine Volleyball countless times.

Aside from all the awards and championships Ly has under her belt within the Philippines, she’s also making a name for herself outside the country. Valdez is first Filipina to play internationally as an import. She was signed by 3BB Nakornnont to play as their reinforcement early this year & as just announced that she’s set to play for Attack Line, a club team in Chinese Taipei.

Valdez is also a long time member of the Philippine national team. She’s played for the Philippines since 2008 as a member of the under-16 team, before transitioning to being the captain of the under-23 squad. The star spiker also played for the national team that competed in 2014 and 2017 SEA Games.

To sum it up

Alyssa Valdez is in the top of her game right now, she’s the best on what she does and she got numbers to back it up.

Elite Attacker, amazing defender, and a deadly server, that’s all you need to describe a great volleyball player. Combine that with her trail-blazing exploits overseas and humble attitude and it is easy to see why she Alyssa has a legion of fans.

The Phenom is still reigning and she’s not done improving. It’s exciting to think about what more can she bring to the Philippine volleyball over the next few years.

Lover her or hate her, Valdez is surely a force to be reckoned with.