ATENEO tries to close the gap with second-running National University as it takes on lowly University of the East in the 76th UAAP women's volleyball tournament when it resumes on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Eagles currently occupy third place with a 7-4 slate, just behind the Lady Bulldogs (11-1) and league leader and reigning champion La Salle (11-0).
But with head coach Anusorn Bundit back at the helm, team captain Alyssa Valdez is looking forward at the positive things the presence of the Thai brings to the Lady Eagles.
“Pag andyan kasi siya 'yung moral support niya nakakagaan (ng feeling),” admitted Valdez. “Kahit nafu-frustrate na kami, nada-down na kami sasabihin niya lang very good kahit wala naman kami ginawa, napaka-positive niya lang.”
The Lady Eagles struggled on games when Bundit was not around, especially during a three-setter loss to rival Lady Spikers at the start of the second round.
Valdez, in her third year with the Katipunan-based school, believes with a `complete cast’, the Lady Eagles will be able to get back on their winning ways.
“Sana this second round 'yun naman talaga ang goal is mabalik namin 'yung consistency namin sa game lalo na complete na 'yung cast,” she said. “Siya (coach) kasi ang nagbibigay sa amin ng inspiration at motivation to play better and to do better.”
Meanwhile, La Salle tries to extend its perfect record to 12 -- and 28th straight overall – when it collides with University of Santo Tomas in the main game at 4 p.m.
The winning run of the Lady Spikers dates back to last year when their lone loss for the season was inflicted by the Tigresses.
The solid defense at the net of La Salle stalwarts Aby Maraño and Mika Reyes together with the power plays of Ara Galang and Cyd Demecillo are again expected to come to fore for the three-time reigning champion, who is fancied to get past the struggling Tigresses (4-7).