There is no better way to describe FEU’s Season 77 campaign than ‘slow start, strong finish.’
After dropping a couple of games unexpectedly, the Lady Tamaraws stepped on the gas in the second round, forced a do-or-die against UST, figured in the Final Four before losing to NU in the semis.
Ten months later, without the likes of veterans Tin Agno, Geneveve Casugod and Yna Papa, the Morayta squad is back to continue its hunt for the team’s elusive 30th women’s volleyball title.
“At first, it was tough adjusting and filling their positions especially those are veteran players that needed to be replaced,” admitted Bernadeth Pons, FEU’s star spiker.
“But now that we are the seniors in the team. We have to step up and lead the squad,” she added. “It won’t be easy because we have a lot of rookies in the lineup but we communicate and plan constantly so I believe we can achieve our goals.”
The Season 78 goal, according to the Negros Occidental native, is to surpass a semis finish.
“Our goal, this time, around is to exceed just a semis finish. We want to be in the finals,” Pons told FOX Sports confidently.
This, of course, is not going to be an easy feat considering how all teams have beefed up their respective rosters.
But the team’s late-season run last year, shared the outside hitter, made the Lady Tamaraws realize their capabilities.
“This time, all of us really want to win. Last year we wanted to win, yes. But when we made it to the Final Four, we finally saw our potential,” she said.
“Our teamwork is better this time around. And we’re also working on consistency because it will be a long tournament. We have to keep our energy up from start to finish,” added Pons.
FEU’s 2016 campaign also got a major boost when premier setter Gyzel Sy returned to the fold from a one-year hiatus, giving the team’s offense a major lift.
“Her (Sy) return will have a huge impact on our offense and defense. Everybody knows what she can do setting-wise. The spikers will be able to convert our attacks better,” she said.
“She is also an excellent floor defender.”
On this season’s game plan, Pons says the fans can expect that the team will hit the ground running.
“Last year we were able to barge into the Final Four despite our slow start. The game plan, this time, is to start strong,” shared the spiker.
“I am really hungry for that 30th title,” she closed.
By Mac Dionisio