MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Lady Eagles left a resounding statement during the season opener of the UAAP Women’s Volleyball tournament on Saturday, February 4.
Much to the delight of the sea of blue in the Big Dome, the Lady Eagles displayed utmost confidence despite losing star players as they pounded UST in straight sets, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22.
The new-look Katipunan squad proved how they acclimated well to life sans graduated veterans Alyssa Valdez and Amy Ahomiro. As the team embarks on a journey to recapture the UAAP crown, team captain and setter Jia Morado laid out a plan to leave everyone – including her teammates – guessing.
“For Jia kasi, pati kami sinu-surprise niya eh. So kahit kami, hindi namin alam kung kami ‘yung papalo,” shared spiker Jho Maraguinot.
(Jia surprises everyone, including us. Even the spikers wouldn’t know if it’s their turn to hit the ball.)
“We lost a go-to man,” said skipper Morado, likely pertaining to predecessor Valdez.
“So ngayon we’re trying to get everyone to score para every game, hindi alam ng kalaban kung kanino manggagaling ‘yung bola.” (Right now we’re trying to get everyone to score so that every game, our opponent won’t be able to read where the ball will come from.)
Apart from presenting a tough defensive challenge for their rivals, the Lady Eagles have also been working on their own floor defense, manifested on the 36 excellent digs made in the second match of the day. The statistic gave way to a better offensive flow for Ateneo as the team welcomed fair contributions from Maraguinot, returning Maddie Madayag, Michelle Morente, Kat Tolentino and Bea de Leon.
Morado’s squad has yet to appoint a go-to person as the veteran playmaker shared her vision of maintaining a balanced offensive effort for the team. Spectators would then have to wait to find out what aces the team has up its sleeves for season 79.
“Siguro everyone is gonna be my go-to [person], ‘yun ang mangyayari for the rest of the season. Surprise.” (I think for the rest of the season, everyone is gonna be my go-to. Surprise.) – Rappler.com
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