THE women’s volleyball tournament in UAAP Season 79 has been a campaign of poles for the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons where they are learning a lot both as a team and as individuals.
Started their season with four straight wins, the Diliman-based volleybelles then followed it up with four losses in a row before going back in the win column last Wednesday by beating University of the East (UE) in four sets to pad their record to 5-4 for joint third place with three other teams.
UP said the path that the Lady Maroons have charted so far shows that they are still adjusting to the position that they are in as a group amid a very competitive field.
“The players are still adjusting to everything that is happening. The attention given them they are not used to it yet and the expectations that go with it,” UP assistant coach Rald Ricafort said.
“When we were winning they were happy but when the losses started coming in their confidence went down and they really felt bad which really made it hard to bounce back,” he added.
Mr. Ricafort was quick to say though that the Lady Maroons have improved a lot as far as their level of play from previous years and it is all a matter of staying consistent in games.
“The skills are there for the players. It’s the mental stuff that they have to work on. To stay consistent and focused during the games whether they are winning or not,” he said.
For graduating player Kathy Bersola, the losing streak they had to endure recently was really tough for a team like theirs which is still finding its footing.
“It was tough to lose four straight after the start that we had. We just went back to the basics and enjoyed the game again,” said Bersola, named best player of the game after with 18 points, following their win over UE.
“As one of the leaders of the team, I will try to continue leading by example by doing my job on the court and being vocal during games,” she added.
UP next plays defending champions De La Salle Lady Spikers (7-2) on Sunday, a game that has a lot of implications on the push of the Lady Maroons to advance to the next round.
“We are not looking at it as a turning point game for us too much. Right now what is important for us is to play the way are supposed to and capable of and let the chips fall where they may,” Mr. Ricafort said.
Meanwhile, games tomorrow at the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) will see the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses (5-4) take on the hapless Adamson Lady Falcons (0-9) at 2 p.m. while the league-leading Ateneo Lady Eagles (8-1) face off with the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws at 4 p.m. Venue is the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.