UAAP Season 81: UP mentally stronger ahead of rematch against Ateneo

Mark Escarlote on Mar 25, 2019 04:43 PM
UP mentally stronger ahead of Ateneo rematch
“More of the mindset problem namin that time and confident ako na mentally strong na talaga ang team -- Tots Carlos

After taking down a giant in three-time defending champion De La Salle University on Sunday, University of the Philippines is now looking for payback against another titan in Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.

The Lady Maroons opened the second round of eliminations with a bang as they routed the Lady Spikers, 25-16, 26-24, 25-19, for their third straight win and a share of second with their victims, University of Sto. Tomas and Far Eastern University. 

Against the league-leading and streaking Lady Eagles (7-1) on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena, UP is confident of being stronger mentally this time around and get back at the squad which swept the Lady Maroons in the first round of the Battle of Katipunan. 

“More of the mindset problem namin that time and confident ako na mentally strong na talaga ang team,” said Tots Carlos referring to the Lady Maroons’ 21-25, 15-25, 26-28 defeat over Ateneo. “So kailangan i-work ang physical aspect and prepare for the game.”

Lady Maroons setter Ayel Estranero added that their losses in the first round gave them the much-needed realization that for them to reach their goal they need to not only be physically ready but also mentally tougher especially against a squad riding the crest of its seven-game tear.  

“I think the losses we had in the first round are the main reasons why we’re mentally strong. As in, we’re not in our perfect mental state, but it was something we learned a lot from and it also made us realize how stronger we can be if we just try to help each other and just be mentally tough inside the court,” she said. “So first round really helped us to be mentally stronger, but there’s more to improve.”

The Lady Maroons proved that at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo when they tore DLSU apart to complete an elims head-to-head sweep over the error-riddled Lady Spikers and score their first straight sets victory of the season.  

“I believe mentally we’re growing and if we have the same mentality towards the next games, I think the results will favor us,” said UP head coach Godfrey Okumu.

But the task is easier said than done as the Lady Maroons will have to bring their A-game and a lot more against the Lady Eagles, who themselves showed maturity and great composure coming back from two sets down to escape with a five-set win over UST last week.



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