Valdez hopes V-League loss is wake-up call for Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines – So used to winning are the Ateneo Lady Eagles that complacency can easily become their greatest adversary more than any opposing team.
But after back-to-back UAAP titles, and a sweep of the last season at that, the powerhouse volleyball team led by Alyssa Valdez had a health dose of reality Sunday, October 4 when they lost to the NU Lady Bulldogs in the championship match of the Shakey’s V-League 12 Collegiate Conference.
“We’re hoping that this is gonna be an inspiration for us,” veteran and team captain Valdez said after the straight set defeat in game 3 of the finals series.
“They say if you lose there’s no way to go but push yourself to be better. We’re hoping we’ll be challenged by this. I think this is an early wake-up call, I hope, for the team.” (IN VINES: NU beats Ateneo for V-League title, Pablo is Finals MVP)
'Anything can happen, everything can happen.'
It was a rare defeat for the Lady Eagles who even dominated this V-League conference with a sweep of the eliminations and a 10-game winning streak that was snapped only in the semifinals.
It was also the only time the entire conference they lost back-to-back games as the Lady Bulldogs triumphed in the last two matches of the series after dropping the opener.
Conference MVP Valdez, who finished with 14 points in game 3, hopes knowing the team isn’t invincible will serve them all well when they gun for a 3-peat in the women’s volleyball tournament of UAAP Season 78 by February.
“Anything can happen, everything can happen,” she said. “We should appreciate every little thing we have now and work on that. Try to polish everything, work as a team and be consistent.”
Ateneo is expecting a “competitive and interesting” season with many veterans from a number of teams graduating, including Valdez herself and NU’s Myla Pablo, who was also named V-League Finals MVP.
But Valdez takes comfort in the team’s V-League experience, saying they found key aspects to work on over the offseason such as service and defense.
“Basically a little bit of everything. No excuse,” she said. “We’re really happy we gave them a good fight. We’re happy we saw a lot of things that we need to improve as a team and as individuals and to make ourselves better.” – Rappler.com