UAAP: Loss to La Salle an early wake-up call for Ateneo

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2020 09:12 PM

UAAP: Loss to La Salle an early wake-up call for Ateneo 1
Jamie Lavitoria (R) talks to her teammates at the bench. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Defending UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University received an early wake-up call when the Lady Eagles were dismantled by archrival De La Salle University in the Season 82 women's volleyball tournament.

Ateneo had the momentum after opening their campaign with an impressive victory over University of the Philippines, but was off-kilter for most of their game against La Salle last Saturday.

Outside of a torrid run in the second set, Ateneo struggled to deal with La Salle's varied attacks and found it difficult to break down their net defense. The Lady Spikers were also quicker to the ball, repeatedly extending rallies and denying Ateneo easy points.

"We had a hard time recovering," said Ateneo veteran Jamie Lavitoria. "When we make error after error, we can't go back to our zone."

"Especially if you start off slow, we have a hard time ending it strong. That's why Coach O (Oliver Almadro) always tells us to start it right and end it right and do your best, and play better than your best," she added.

They were unable to do that against La Salle, which Lavitoria admitted was frustrating for the squad.

"We were prepared," she stressed. "We trained so hard for months, not just for this game."

"You know, you sometimes question your hard work, like, 'I work so hard but we're losing,'" she added. 

But she said that the Lady Eagles cannot succumb to the frustration that they feel or lose track of what has worked for them before.

"I think this is a wake-up call for us, and for me, I think it's only a loss if you don't learn," said Lavitoria.

"The seniors have to remind the girls why we're here, and that it's not gonna be an easy journey. Like, that was a wake-up call for us to really realize that we need to get our sh*t together," she added.

The Lady Eagles have a chance to bounce back on Wednesday, when they take on University of the East at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

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