In the last two weeks State champion HaNeul Jeong-McDonell and Cinderella Nwe have battled each other three times with HaNeul winning the rubber match on Thursday at Edina. This reversed the St. Paul City championship results from last Thursday. That result reversed a regular season make up game from last Tuesday. So where were the differences?
First off in the match last night I had differing scores of 13 and 15 (compared to 12 and 14).
One advantage for HaNeul yesterday was her side out ability. It was a best .650 in the three total matches. When Cinderella won her St. Paul title she was at .643. Preventing the other player from generating any service points is key to victory. HaNeul actually had more in the win in the SPC match 26-24. Yesterday it was much more convincing at 22-8. The inability to score off serve held Cinderella back.
The next level of activity was runs, when you cannot get points off serve, it is hard to get a run started. Last week both were similar with HaNeul winning 5-4. This category was not close Thursday night at 5-1. And that tone was set early with a seven point run on HaNuel’s second service in the first set. Five of those points came on hitting errors. But they were long (or longer) stroke counts. Three of them were over five strokes, the longest being a 14 stroke soft drive attempt that found the net. When you are down 7-1 it is hard to climb out of that hole. The closest Cinderella got in the first set after that start was six points. But when you are staring at an 18-12 deficit you basically need to run the table, a hard road to hoe. Both sets ended on missed serves.
Moving on in the analysis the winner category saw a big shift to HaNeul. Not necessarily scoring because HaNeul was at 21 last week in the three set SPC final, and Thursday she had 20. It was Cinderella’s numbers dropping in half from 33 to 16. The biggest drop in her winners came in the smash category—from 8 to 3. Even in the team match up yesterday Cinderella cranked out nine. Measuring out the error by type: four were smash attempts that found the net. To use a volleyball hitting measure it was 3 “kills” – 4 errors over 7 attempts…..but that does not really measure the whole situation because many smashes were neither winners or errors, but kept in play. I don’t measure those yet. At any rate that conversion rate was -.143…..in volleyball .300 or better is considered the gold standard.
In the second set it was a drip….drip….drip situation with HaNeul able to pick off runs. She had four runs that set while Cinderella was stymied with zero. HaNeul had runs on her fourth, fifth, eighth and tenth service. The service scoring drought for Cinderella continued. HaNeul held Cinderella scoreless her last three services. That was critical in that Cinderella closed the gap to 17-14. At that stage HaNeul was winded and had to catch her breath. She bounced back with an eight stroke smash to regain the momentum.
HaNeul is now the second Scot with a state singles title joining Gao Lee from 2012. She also moved up from second place last season. Cinderella was the Eagles first representative in the singles title game.
|Longest side out string||4||3|
|Longest point string||7||3|
|First Serve||1, 2|
|Point generated off serve||.524||.286|
|Points after 11||20||18|
|Points after own errors||9/.750||8/.364|
|Winners after own errors||3/.250||5/.227|
|Strokes per point||3.976||4.75|
|Largest Lead||9, 6||1, 0|
|Set Point %||2/5-.400|