Last year’s finish: Fourth
Key losses: Tin Agno, Samantha Dawson, Yna Papa
Key Additions: Via Julliene Bal, Maria Angelica Cayuna, Ria Beatriz Glenel Duremdes, Carlota Hernandez, Jeanette Virginia Villareal
FAR Eastern University lost three key players from last season and hopes its five rookies would be able to help as the Lady Tamaraws eye a return to the Final Four of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
Libero Tin Agno and spikers Samantha Dawson and Yna Papa are no longer with the team.
Team captain Mary Palma said they wouldn’t want to put too much pressure on the rookies, but FEU made clear they have to give their best every game.
FEU parades rookies Via Julliene Bal out of Gen. Tinio National High School, Maria Angelica Cayuna from Dapitan City National HIgh School, Ria Beatriz Glenel Duremdes of Central Philippine University, Carlota Hernandez a product of Holy Rosary College of Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Jeanette Virginia Villareal from General Santos City National High School.
“Mahirap na wala na ’yung seniors namin dati pero dapat akong mag-step up kumbaga per generation lang ’yan, ngayon ako naman ang magli-lead sa mga bata ngayon,” said Palma.
“Kailangan namin sila (rookies) madala all throughout the season pero hindi porke first year ka reason mo na hindi maglalaro ng maayos kasi first year pa lang,” she added. “Dapat (ang mentality nila) ‘first year ako ipapakita ko ang kakayahan ko’. Although lagi naman namin sila nireremind na ‘wag kayo matakot, gina-guide namin sila.”
Ateneo is the consensus favorite, but Palma says they are preparing for all the other teams.
“Lahat ng teams, team-to-beat kasi lahat naman ‘yan nagpapalakas, may iba pa naga-out of the country training,” she said.
“Lahat kailangan mong katakutan kasi lahat ‘yan nag-eensayo ‘yan, so pantay-pantay lang naman kami,” she added.
“Syempre nasa way na ng paglalaro mo at saka pag nasa court na magkakatalo na lang sa mental toughness kasi sa skills andyan naman na ‘yan.”