UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Sana we went past that down na -- Madayag on Ateneo's improvement after a bad start
Mark Escarlote on Mar 21, 2018 06:21 PM
I guess for teams naman, there will always be up and downs. Sana we went past that down na -- Ateneo de Manila University skipper Maddie Madayag
Ateneo de Manila University has put its bad start in UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball tournament behind.
After a 0-2 start – its worst in 11 years – the Lady Eagles are now on a roll and are already knocking on the Final Four door.
During the pre-season and at the start of their campaign, many thought that Ateneo would be limping in the race for a semifinals spot after the departure of prized setter Jia Morado.
They proved them wrong.
Ateneo’s heart strong mantra remained alive and the Katipunan-based squad is just two wins away from formally clinching a Final Four seat.
The Lady Eagles edged the upset-conscious University of the East, 25-14, 18-25, 25-13, 25-18, Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan for a 7-3 win-loss slate at solo second spot behind archrival grand slam-seeking De La Salle University (8-2).
Another victory will secure Ateneo at least a playoff for a Final Four berth.
“Well, I mean it's a really great achievement na mag-eight wins kasi we were just expecting to play our best naman,” said skipper Maddie Madayag, who had 11 points off seven kills, three kill blocks and an ace.
“But then our goal was to reach talaga the Final Four,” she added. But nakakataas ng confidence, and nakakasaya for the team. And 'yung improvements din.”
The Lady Eagles have won three straight in the secomnd round of eliminations. Ateneo took down first round tormentors Far Eastern University and National University - both in straight sets - before flooring the Lady Warriors.
“I guess for teams naman, there will always be up and downs. Sana we went past that down na,” said the team captain.
Madayag also credited for their good campaign the vast improvement of setter Deanna Wong, who filled the important shoes left by Morado. Wong had 50 excellent sets against UE that helped Ateneo hammer down 54 attacks.
“She's really improving a lot. Like you can see from the first round to the second round, she's being more aggressive and more confident in her sets,” said Madayag of Wong, who had four markers.
Ateneo can secure at least a playoff for a semis spot with a win over Adamson University on Sunday before the league goes on a Holy Week break.
And the former two-time champion Lady Eagles will be ready.
“Wala talagang complacency,” said Madayag. “We're not gonna be complacent with the teams, because everybody's like magka-level.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles