WOMEN’S: BAL-DOING IT FROM THE SIDELINES
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from today’s Ateneo Women’s volleyball action was the move of local supernove, Alyssa Valdez, from main player to a backup. Whether Valdez will actually beach volleyball this season will be the biggest headline for the Lady Eagles this season, as Valdez has had a history of cramps due to fatigue and Ateneo will most likely be saving her for their incoming title-defense on the second semester. Still, whether or not Valdez plays, she still magnetizes insane amounts of people wherever she goes.
The Lady Eagles still had returning player, Mich Morente and rookie Joana Maraguinot to hold down their sand fort. However, the defending champions, Adamson spoiled their debut, 21-10, 22-20.
It seemed that Ateneo’s pair were clearly out of their element in the sand with their pitiful first set performance but they were able to recover and even hold set point in the second set, 20-18. But the Lady Eagles would wilt under the hot-noon Sun as they would fail to win another point from that point on.
Morente and Maraguinot are a well balanced combo, both possessing adequate volleyball skills all-around. With the competition as up-in-the-air as it is this season, these two could easily steal a few wins here and there from more experienced duos and get ADMU back to the Final Four. However, these still have a lot to prove as Morente does have a history of inconsistency and Maraguinot is still a rookie. This team could easily fall to as low as 6th place.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles opened their beach volleyball season by splitting their first two games.
The fiery tandem of Captain, Ysay Marasigan and Jeri Apelar took their first match in convincing fashion as they swept the DLSU Archers, 21-14, 21-18 but failed to complete an unlikely upset against the Growling Tigers, 21-14, 12-21, 12- 15.
Marasigan and Apelar are steady in most facets of their game except neither of them posses an imposing presence at the net to control opposing offenses. The Eagles may not be able to survive on moxie alone bigger, tougher teams could simply overpower them out of a Final Four spot.