MADDIE Madayag said Ateneo missed the presence of rookie libero Dani Ravena in their 20-25, 17-25, 26-24, 20-25 loss to La Salle in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament on Saturday.
Ravena, who watched the game from the stands with her parents, Bong and Mozzy, as well as brother Thirdy, underwent appendectomy on Tuesday.
La Salle capitalized on her absence, with the Lady Eagles conceding 16 services aces, seven of which courtesy of La Salle spiker Desiree Cheng.
"Receives obviously. Wala si Dani, crucial player, kahit rookie pa lang siya, sobrang kita naman wala talagang receive so ayun," she said at the end of the match at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"Tsaka si Ponggay (Gaston) din siguro like you know na nagsu-sub naman sina Jules (Samonte) if ever. So pag pangit ng laro ng isa, wala.. Kasi kulang kami."
Bea de Leon echoed her sentiments, but insisted the rest of them should have come together to make up for the hole left by the absence of Ravena and Gaston.
"Very critical talaga yung wala si Dani. But what can you do? Sabi ni coach Sherwin (Meneses) di ka pwede maghanap ng wala. The test of a good team is kapag wala ang isa, dapat kaya pa rin," she said.
But there were still a lot of positives in the defeat before more than 18,000 screaming fans inside the MOA Arena in Pasay.
Ateneo even led 21-11 in the third frame and went on to extend the match. Unfortunately, the Lady Spikers restored order behind Kim Dy and Desiree Cheng.
"It was obvious naman na nag-eenjoy lang sila. Nawawala yung enjoyment sa game. Natataranta talaga. Kailangan matuto ang team tumayo after mahulog kasi pag nagka-error, sunod-sunod na ang mga error. Kailangan lang talaga ng maturity," said Madayag.
Now the Lady Eagles will go back to the drawing board as they prepare for the second round of the tournament.
"Back to training I guess. We talked kanina and yeah alam naman namin yung mga pagkukulang namin. Babalik kami sa training tapos aayusin namin yung mga kailangan ayusin," she said.