Ateneo finishes UAAP season ‘better than last year’

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Ateneo Blue Eagles’ Lyann De Guzman. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Ateneo wrapped up its UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament on a high note at the expense of Adamson, 25-13, 25-17, 25-21, on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Lyann de Guzman soared with 14 attack points to lift Ateneo to No. 5 with a 5-9 (win-loss) record, a much better finish compared to what it accomplished in Season 85.

“For me, [this season] was a huge success compared to last year because now, we saw our progress every game,” said De Guzman, who has yet to decide if she will stay with Ateneo or opt to go pro.

“We saw the improvement within the team and individually and for me, coach’s (Sergio Veloso) was effective and we only need to follow it to improve ourselves,” De Guzman added.

Sobe Buena assisted De Guzman with eight points while graduating libero captain Roma Doromal guarded the Blue Eagles’ den with nine excellent digs and six excellent receptions.

“I am so proud because I saw the progress of my teammates from the preseason to the first round and to the second round,” Doromal said. “I saw the progress of the team and its improvement … and I’m also thankful that I stayed [another year] and I was able to help them (Blue Eagles) this season.”

“When I decided to stay, I was really searching for my purpose. And staying [with Ateneo for another year], I found my purpose in helping my teammates. As a libero, too, that’s the most that I can give.”

“I’m not able to give points [to the team] but I’m with them all the way. So that’s my success, being able to help the team grow with the new system.”

“I’ll go pro, but let’s see [where I’ll end up],” Doromal revealed when asked of her plans after exhausting her playing years in the league.

Self-destructed

Already out of Final Four contention, both teams made the match as close as they can as Adamson coach JP Yude fielded every Lady Falcon—and everyone contributed in the losing stand.

After dropping the opening frame, Adamson worked to level the game and led early in the second frame but Ateneo was motivated to regain control of that set and bounce back from its previous loss against bitter rival La Salle on Sunday.

The Lady Falcons, who self-destructed with 32 errors, led again early in the third set before Buena tied the game at 18-all and Ishie Lalongisip’s net error gave Ateneo the lead.

Ateneo did not let go of their advantage this time as De Guzman unloaded a down-the-line kill that graduating Adamson captain Lucille Almonte was not able to control and the Blue Eagles led by three, 23-20.

AA Adolfo scored her third point with a cross-court hit to try and keep Adamson in the game before middle blocker AC Miner brought Ateneo to match point and Almonte’s crucial error brought her UAAP campaign to a close.

“I am so happy because this is our last match and the team played very well,” Veloso said. “It doesn’t matter [that] we cannot cross to the top four but we landed in position five, better than last year; it’s one of our targets.”



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“But the most important is how the players improved in this season, this tournament. I think [we had] a very good second round and everybody can see how our team played together in the team system and consistent,” Veloso added.





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