Rookie Bea de Leon and first year player Jhoana Maraguinot have made their debut season more memorable as they amply helped their team towards completing a 14-0 sweep for the first time in Ateneo Women’s Volleyball history.
De Leon returned to action just in time to face heavyweights DLSU Lady Spikers after opting not to undergo surgery on her dislocated finger. The Poveda standout was not 100% coming into last Wednesday’s marquee match, but was really determined to return. In the game that saw them win their 14th game out of 14 games this season, the rookie racked up 11 points, most of which were vital in winning sets for Ateneo. “I was really happy to be back,” the leading Rookie of the Year candidate said. De Leon revealed that the groundbreaking achievement was not easy. “Sobrang hindi kami makapaniwala. Mindset namin every game, hindi namin alam kung mananalo kami.”
Her teammate, Maraguinot, emerged from the reserve ranks to provide Ateneo more options up front. Playing in her first UAAP season, she was naturally feeling nervous, but Jhoana just kept two things in mind. “Sabi ko sa sarili ko na relax lang. Every move kailangan mag-concentrate at mag-relax para magawa nang maayos ‘yung kailangan kong gawin,” she stated. Scorer of Ateneo’s last two points that eventually separated them from La Salle in a gripping fourth set, Maraguinot is still overwhelmed, especially taking into account the magnitude of the result. She finished the game with 10 points.
Veteran Lady Eagle Ella de Jesus gives credit to the two fresh players they have in De Leon and Maraguinot this season. “Nadagdagan kami ng new members sa team na pwede may ma-contribute,” she thought. Indeed, the neophyte duo teamed up for 21 of the team’s 73 points, not including opponents’ errors. Only Alyssa Valdez tallied more points than each of them as well. Now in the Finals just on their first try, De Leon and Maraguinot may have just established themselves as key cogs in the present, and the future of Ateneo Women’s Volleyball.
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