KATRINA Tolentino and Maddie Madayag are set to return from injuries and help provide stability as a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the Ateneo Lady Eagles camp ahead of the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Eagles are hoping to get instant impact from Tolentino and Madayag, who are both recovered from knee injuries, especially with the loss of key team members.
Ateneo is reeling from the departure of longtime assistant coach Parley Tupaz while team manager Tonyboy Liao's continued tenure is in doubt - a big loss in the offseason after the graduation of skipper Alyssa Valdez.
The 6-2 Fil-Canadian Tolentino tore the ACL on her right knee after an awkward landing during warmups in the V-League two years ago. Madayag was sidelined due to ACL and meniscus tear last March.
Ateneo athletic director Em Fernandez confirmed to SPIN.ph that Tolentino and Madayag will suit up this season.
“Katrina Tolentino will be playing this year and si Maddie naman she already started training since November pa,” said Fernandez.
The team trained in Thailand and Japan in preparation for the UAAP and Fernandez is optimistic that the players have jelled well.
Jho Maraguinot is expected to lead the offense featuring the returning Michelle Morente, Bea de Leon and Jia Morado, as the Ateneo squad is now also without Amy Ahomiro and Mae Tajima.
“So I would say so na maganda na ang jelling ng team. They had a training in Thailand and then in Japan so it will help them prepare for the coming UAAP,” said Fernandez.
The UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament starts on February 4.