AFTER a dominant first round, Ateneo de Manila is bracing for a tougher second round as all teams will be after their hide in the crucial phase of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Eagles have been on a roll since losing their campaign opener to rival De La Salle, acing their last six tests in the first round.
Riding the crest of a six-game winning streak, team captain Bea De Leon knows that they will have targets on their backs as all teams are out to avenge their first-round setbacks.
“It’s about to get harder so ang mindset namin ngayon, tapos na ‘yung first round so now we have to work double time,” said De Leon, who delivered the finishing touches and had 13 points in their four-set win over National University on Saturday.
The graduating middle blocker is insisting that they have double their effort for a more challenging round.
“Kung anuman ang trinabaho namin noong first round, kailangan double talaga because the teams are about to peak, and the teams are going to fight harder,” De Leon said.
Kat Tolentino agreed to De Leon that’s why they need to stick together like what they did in the first round.
“I know that first round was really a team effort thing. We earned it by working together and by following the system,” Tolentino said. “We’re going to have to continue that but also adjust because the teams will only come out stronger.”
For Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro, who steered the team to six wins in his first seven games as the Lady Eagles new head coach, the Katipunan-based spikers just have to keep their mentality treating their practices and next games as if it’s their last.
“We didn’t expect that we’re here. We started the tournament slow so we just have to work every practice, every match, as if it’s our last match of our lives,” Almadro said. “yon din mindset ng seniors ko, they’re really doing more every practice, doing more every game.”
Ateneo will open its second round against a tough opponent in University of Santo Tomas, which in running second place in a tie with De La Salle after winning five of its first seven games.