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PLDT High Speed Hitters: A Strategic Formation for the 2024 PVL Season

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The PLDT High Speed Hitters are poised to make a significant impact in the upcoming 2024 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season. The addition of Kim Fajardo, Majoy Baron, and the return of an injury-recovered Kim Kianna Dy promises to bring both skill and a sense of nostalgia as former De La Salle University Lady Spikers.

Analyzing the New Additions

Kim Fajardo - The Strategic Setter

Past Performance: In the last conference, Fajardo played 25 sets with an average of 0.44 points per set. Despite a relatively low-scoring output, typical for a setter, her 53 excellent sets and 28 digs were crucial. Her efficiency and success percentages in setting (11.99% and 12%, respectively) highlight her role as a playmaker.

Expected Role: As a six-time best setter, Fajardo's strategic playmaking will be critical in orchestrating the team's attacks. In addition, she will be joining the High Speed Hitter's long-time setter, Rhea Dimaculangan, posing a strong threat to other teams.

Mary Joy Baron - The Formidable Middle Blocker

Past Performance: Baron played 28 sets, scoring 57 points with a strong average of 2.04 points per set. Her attack success rate of 28.57% and block success rate of 17.47% underscore her effectiveness at the net.

Expected Role: With Reyes likely out for the opening conference, Baron's role becomes even more significant. She is set to be a key player in the middle blocker position, filling the void and adding robust defense and attack.

Kim Dy - The Comeback

Last Season's Absence: Dy, a star opposite hitter, was sidelined due to injury in the previous conference. Her return is highly anticipated.

Potential Impact: If fully recovered, Dy's presence could add a significant attacking threat to the team, especially when combined with the strategic setting of Fajardo and the blocking prowess of Baron.

Team Dynamics and Expectations

Reunion Factor: The reunion of these former DLSU players brings a familiarity and understanding that could translate into seamless on-court chemistry.

Overcoming Challenges: The team will need to adapt to the absence of key players like Mika Reyes and Jovy Prado. The new additions will play a pivotal role in this adjustment. For Dy specifically, she needs to step out of her comfort zone as she sees a new coach for the first time following Ramil De Jesus — her coach from DLSU until her stint at F2 Logistics.

Chasing Success

Podium Ambitions: The High Speed Hitters aim for their first-ever podium finish after several conferences. The blend of experience and new talent could be the formula they need to achieve this goal.

Tactical Outlook: The team is expected to adopt a balanced approach, utilizing the strengths of both new and existing players to create a formidable presence.

The PLDT High Speed Hitters' strategic formation, combining the expertise of Fajardo and Baron with the anticipated return of Dy, sets them up as a team to watch in the 2024 PVL season. Their ability to integrate the new talents and overcome the challenges of missing players will be key to their success. The volleyball community eagerly awaits the unfolding of this potentially dynamic and cohesive unit.

However, the question remains, even with the absence of Mika Reyes, if PLDT fails to reach the elimination rounds, much less the podium, after the key additions they made, is this conference considered a failure? 

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