Kat Tolentino comes alive to lead Lady Eagles rally
MANILA, Philippines—There were essentially two versions of Kat Tolentino when Ateneo faced Far Eastern University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday.
First was the dormant Tolentino that scored just two points in the first two sets and the other one was the exact opposite who flat out dominated the Lady Tamaraws in the next three sets.
Tolentino woke up from her slumber in time to lead the Lady Eagles to a stunning comeback win over the Lady Tamaraws, 14-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-12.
“I realized I just can’t stand there and tip the ball out, I have to spike it with power and how I normally do it,” said Tolentino. “I changed my mindset in the next three sets.”
Ateneo was on the brink of defeat with the Lady Tamaraws silencing the predominantly Lady Eagles crowd of 4,100 after the first two sets.
Yet like a phoenix emerging from ashes, the Lady Eagles erupted that led head coach Oliver Almadro give out a spirited speech after the game.
“People shouldn’t count my outside hitters out,” said Almadro as his team improved to 2-1 and tie University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas for the second spot.
“I’m sure we’ll have a bright future, we should believe in what we’re doing and trust each other. We’re working double time so there’s no reason to doubt us,” added Almadro.
Ateneo and FEU were locked in a 12-12 stalemate in the fifth set after an extensive back-and-forth until Kyle Negrito committed two straight errors that put the Lady Eagles up, 14-12.
Just as fate had it, Tolentino ended the game with a booming kill for the Lady Eagles’ win.
“It shows our determination and maybe we just needed to push because we were down two sets already so we needed that to win,” said Tolentino.