UAAP: Ateneo’s Kat Tolentino earns Player of the Week nod

Ateneo’s Kat Tolentino fires an attack against FEU’s Jerrili Malabanan. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Kat Tolentino’s firepower proved crucial in Ateneo de Manila University’s back-to-back wins in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament this week.

Tolentino, the tournament’s leading scorer so far, unloaded a combined output of 41 points in Ateneo’s games against University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Far Eastern University (FEU), meriting her the Chooks-to-Go UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week honors.

She scored 22 points in Ateneo’s 25-21, 25-18, 16-25, 25-22 triumph over UST, to lead the Lady Eagles in bouncing back from a season-opening loss to De La Salle University.

Tolentino then recovered from a slow start as the Ateneo offense opened up to down the Lady Tamaraws in five sets, 14-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-12. Limited to just two points in the first two sets, the Fil-Canadian opposite hitter would finish with 19 markers.

Ateneo’s struggles on the defensive end didn’t stop Tolentino from doing her best to make up for it with her lethal attacks.

“For me I realized that I can’t just stand there and tip the ball or hit it light. I have to go all out. I have to spike with power and how I normally do it,” said Tolentino.

Tolentino and rest of the Ateneo spikers will be greatly tested against the University of the East’s floor defense led by Season 80 best digger and best receiver Kath Arado on Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m., at the Araneta Coliseum.

Tolentino edged out nominees La Salle’s Michelle Cobb, Milena Alessandrini of UST, and National University rookie Ivy Lacsina for the weekly plum handed out by print and online scribes covering the beat.

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