TITLE contenders last season, Ateneo tries to again reach the same status but will have to do so without four key players and their bench tactitian.
Last year’s best scorer Alyssa Valdez returns to lead the Lady Eagles but she will need more help from the other holdovers and new faces after the graduation of Fille Cainglet, Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio and A Nacachi.
Also gone is coach Roger Gorayeb, who is now with San Sebastian in the NCAA.
The pressure is on the team's star Valdez, but the lass from Batangas believes her new-look squad can still be among the teams to beat, provided each player does what she is assigned to do.
"Naniniwala ako na lahat talaga kami malaki yung part para madala yung team. Malaki yung matutulong ng mga seniors kasi may experience sila," said the third year spiker referring to Ella de Jesus and Denden
"Naniniwala ako na kahit sino or lahat sa amin have different roles para dalhin yung team."
Ateneo reached the finals last season, but fell short as La Salle went on to win its third straight title.
The goal, according to Valdez, is to again reach the finals.
Ateneo begins its title bid against a heavy favorite National University when the UAAP volleyball tournament opens December at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
"Sympre every team naman goal maka abot ng finals eh. Pero siguro for us yung every game muna namin goal namin to play well and learn from that game. Hopefully makaabot din kami sa dulo," she said.