On January 11, the DLSU Lady Spikers bowed down to their archrivals, the ADMU Lady Eagles in five gut-busting sets. Despite the loss, rookie Lady Spiker Eli Soyud stood out, and gained the attention of many. She also proved to be a revelation for the powerhouse squad.
The famous second set rejection she made against Alyssa Valdez during the crucial moments made its way towards social media. The move grabbed positive and negative feedback not just from the netizens, but from the people who watched the game live.
The rookie did not hide her excitement towards the heat of the exchange as she expressed how the moment was for her.
“That time kasi sobrang haba nung rally and grabe na yung intensity sa loob ng court. Na block ko siya (Valdez) siyempre masaya sa feeling kasi na block tapos score pa namin,” she explained.
Soyud rejected and played good defense against Valdez, who eventually ended the game with another stellar 26-point outing. For Soyud, the gesture she made was out of the intensity and surreal feeling of blocking an elite player in Valdez.
“Para sakin na rookie palang tapos ma-block si Valdez, malaking bagay na kasi si Valdez yun eh,” she added.
Before the marquee game, former captain Abigail Maraño opened up to Soyud and gave her advice as a veteran.
She shared, “Si Aby before Ateneo (game) sinabi lang niya na kaya namin sila wag lang matakot. Laban lang.”
Eli, the sister of former UP cager Raul Soyud, said that she did not really expect the hate she received after the encounter.
“Hindi mo na kasi mararamdaman yun sa sobrang intensity sa loob ng court tapos mahabang rally. Lumabas ako nun (substitute) tapos nireplay tapos sobrang nag boo sila so sabi ko bakit nagawa ko yun.”
Fast forward to their match against UP held at the FilOil Arena, the game was scheduled in the 2pm slot followed by an Ateneo-NU match afterwards. The arena was filled with fans of the top two teams in Women’s volleyball. The Lady Eagles’ crowd showed their infamous greeting for the rookie, especially during her services.
“Siguro nung game, focus lang kahit ano mangyari. Hindi ko sila papansinin. Sige, magingay lang kayo, ako lalaruin ko pa rin yung kailangan kong gawin,” she stressed about her thoughts on the bashers during their UP game.
Despite the negative comments, she did not deny the unwavering support of her university for the Lady Spikers.
“Nakita ko yung fans ng La Salle na kahit anong mangyari, manalo o matalo, nandun sila. Kung ikaw hindi mo masasagot (other team’s fans), sila lalaban para sayo. Nakakatuwa,” she concluded.
The Lady Spikers continue their climb to the top of the Women’s volleyball tournament, and definitely, Soyud has already made a name for herself as a rookie. The second round game between Ateneo and La Salle will be on Feb. 21.
Interview by Camilla Saguin of DLSU Sports