MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Lady Eagles had a game to forget in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball finals after absorbing a straight-set drubbing at the hands of the UST Golden Tigresses.
Every player failed to make any lasting impact, including libero Dani Ravena who only mustered 8 excellent digs in the beatdown loss.
That’s why when the feisty sophomore bounced back with 22 excellent digs and 12 excellent receptions in Ateneo’s Game 2 equalizer against UST, her seniors made sure to let her hear about it.
“She worked for it,” said Lady Eagles captain Bea De Leon. “I always tell her, 'Dan, you've earned my respect.' Today's a big day for her and I hope it keeps coming.”
“Definitely, we're proud of the kid,” chimed in star middle blocker Maddie Madayag. “We need a loud voice, a leader inside. Not just us leaders, everybody has to do their job.”
Indeed, Ravena stepped up big time, especially after Ateneo ate up a 14-25 beating in the 2nd set. Facing offensive juggernauts like MVP Sisi Rondina and Rookie of the Year Eya Laure, she held her ground and quickly shrugged off her own mistakes. (READ: Ateneo stays alive vs UST, forces title rubbermatch)
Even her big brothers, basketball stars Kiefer and Thirdy, didn’t hold back for their sister while Lady Eagle legend Alyssa Valdez also shared her feelings online.
May dalawang buang sa likod. Pero super proud of you, @ravenadani pic.twitter.com/1HARfIkbzq — Kiefer Ravena (@kieferravena) May 15, 2019
Proud of u @ravenadani and the rest of the AWVTlouder for the haters at the back lol yall know who you are!!! pic.twitter.com/Oh5GGb1s6U — Thirdy (@ThirdyRavenaaa) May 15, 2019
Luv u @ravenadani!!!! — Alyssa Valdez (@AlyssaValdez2) May 15, 2019
Amid all these praises, the youngest Ravena sibling couldn’t help but feel extra motivated headed towards her seniors’ final game on Saturday, May 18.
“How can you say no to the rest of the seniors?” she said. “They still want to train. I really want them to have a goodbye without regrets.”
“Last night my mom called. This morning, Thirdy. When I got here, it was Kiefer’s turn,” she continued. “I guess, they’ve been here for so many years. They know how it feels like to win and lose. I think that’s a blessing for me that they share their passion. That helps me, knowing that there's so many people behind you.” – Rappler.com