Jamie Lavitoria returned to be wind beneath young Lady Eagles' wings

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 30, 2020 04:57 PM
Lavitoria returned to be wind beneath young Eagles' wings
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Jamie Lavitoria is back for more in the UAAP 82 Women's Volleyball Tournament - and that is nothing but a welcome development for defending champion Ateneo de Manila University.

With the exits of stalwarts Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag, the Lady Eagles were in need of veteran leadership - and have gotten just that with the return of Kat Tolentino, Jho Maraguinot, and Lavitoria.

After two seasons away from the squad, Lavitoria has vowed to do anything and everything in her power to contribute in their title defense as she comes back for her last go-round. "Because it's my last playing year, my goal is to just help this team however possible on and off the court," she said.

After all, the setter chose to come back to be able to serve as guiding light for an Ateneo side which will have to definitely depend on youngsters such as Faith Nisperos, Joan Narit, and Jaja Maraguinot. "It was actually a hard decision for me. I was approached a few months ago and I was back and forth, going yes and no, yes and no," she shared.

She then continued, "Then I realized I needed to go back to help this team because this is such a young lineup. That's all the more reason I have to be back - to guide them and help them."

For Lavitoria, she has come full circle - from being the youngster in need of a steadying hand to being the steadying hand herself. As she put it, "It's crazy because the rookies and the sophomores, I actually see myself in them. They're just so young and now that I'm the eldest, I'm able to bring maturity to this team," she said.

In particular, the 5-foot-10 playmaker never fails to remind her teammates to give their full faith to the Lady Eagles' already tried and tested winning formula. "I advise them every day to just work hard and believe in the process," she said.

With that, Lavitoria is only looking forward to her last go-round in blue and white. "I'm excited and, of course, nervous, but it's good nervous. I'm just grateful to be part of this team," she said.

She then continued, "This team is special to me not only because it's my last (year), but because I love this group."


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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