Ateneo boosts confidence after beating NU
Ateneo is slowly building up its credentials for another Final Four run and the Lady Eagles had one thing in their agenda when they took on National University in the second round of the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Eagles were on the losing side of the spectrum when they faced the Lady Bulldogs, 25-19, 25-19 20-25, 12-25, 15-7, in the first round.
That setback infuriated the team’s seniors and Bea De Leon, Kat Tolentino, and Maddie Madayag all wanted to get one back from NU.
And that’s what they eventually did when they walloped the Lady Bulldogs in three sets, 25-22, 25-16, 25-17.
“This was a really huge boost for our confidence because we knew we could get back at the teams who beat us before,” said De Leon whose team climbed to the second seed, from fourth, with a 6-3 record.
“This was big because not only did we get even with NU but we also bounced in the standings,” added De Leon who had nine points in the win.
Captain Madayag said the team had adjusted from the lessons they learned in their previous game against NU, and that was going back up immediately after a mistake.
“Everybody adjusted well because we all played really well today, and if someone made an error they immediately corrected it the next play,” said Madayag who led the team in scoring with 13 points.
And the mistake the Lady Eagles corrected was letting Jaja Santiago have her way against them.
Santiago had 26 points in their first match but was limited to just 16 in the second meeting.
And a big part of that was De Leon’s relentless defense.
De Leon, who had five of total points coming off blocks, denied Santiago in the net to give Ateneo a 21-17 lead and she blocked Audrey Paran two times to seal the Lady Eagles’ victory.
Kat Tolentino, Madayag’s co-captain, said Ateneo learned to compose itself throughout the season after losing its first two games.
“The mentality on the second round is that we’re a lot more comfortable, because the first two games we’re really new and we’re still adjusting with each other,” said Tolentino who had eight points in the win. “Now we’re really gelling here in the second round.”
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