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From bench player to dominant middle, Maddie Madayag grateful for colorful Ateneo journey

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Tiebreaker Times From bench player to dominant middle, Maddie Madayag grateful for colorful Ateneo journey ADMU News UAAP Volleyball  UAAP Season 81 Women's Badminton UAAP Season 81 Maddie Madayag Ateneo Women's Volleyball

Not many people remember it now because she’s turned into one of the best players in the country, but Maddie Madayag was barely seeing the court in her first year with the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, spending most of the UAAP Season 77 Women’s Volleyball sweep on the bench.

She broke out early in Season 78, but an ACL tear derailed her ascent.

Returning a year later, Madayag lost playing time to Ana Gopico as she was still far from peak form. On the other hand, Madayag’s senior year had her take charge of a starting spot, but Ateneo failed to make the Finals.

This version of Madayag – the broad-shouldered, record-setting, most intimidating blocker of Season 81 – took a lot work physical and emotional work to develop.

Tiebreaker Times From bench player to dominant middle, Maddie Madayag grateful for colorful Ateneo journey ADMU News UAAP Volleyball  UAAP Season 81 Women's Badminton UAAP Season 81 Maddie Madayag Ateneo Women's Volleyball

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Still, Madayag would not have had her collegiate career play out any other way.

After finally getting her championship moment as a senior, Madayag looked back on her challenging Ateneo career with joy.

“It’s really the journey that made it worthwhile. The victory wouldn’t be as sweet as it is now if I wasn’t giving circumstances like that,” Madayag told Tiebreaker Times.

“It’s really God’s plan. I trust what God has for me. Whatever happened, I just prayed.”

If Madayag had a choice for how people would remember her, she wants it to be as a strong person and leader who never gave up.

Tiebreaker Times From bench player to dominant middle, Maddie Madayag grateful for colorful Ateneo journey ADMU News UAAP Volleyball  UAAP Season 81 Women's Badminton UAAP Season 81 Maddie Madayag Ateneo Women's Volleyball

“I’m a very strong-minded person, I think. It was a minor setback for a major comeback. I didn’t think anything was something that was going to stop me from doing what I love,” the 5-foot-11 tower expressed.

“Siguro, [I want them to remember me] as their captain na palaban, matapang. I hope na ma-instill nila ‘yung never susuko.”

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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