MANILA, Philippines — After her presence was hardly felt in the first three games, Sheena Toring stepped up lead the struggling National University to a bounce-back win over University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Toring, the reigning 1st Best Middle Blocker, fired a season-high six aces after only registering a total of 17 points off 12 attacks, three blocks, and two aces in the Lady Bulldogs’ first three games.
She was also a jumper’s knee when NU absorbed its first loss to University of Santo Tomas in five sets last Saturday.
“I watched my [previous] games. I didn’t serve well last game. We always target the libero [of our opponents]. So when we trained yesterday I focused on my service since it’s a crucial part of the game, especially since we’re facing UP,” said Toring in Filipino.
Toring unleashed a game-high 16 points, providing six of the team’s 16 aces in helping turn back UP, 18-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-11, where the Lady Bulldogs also had to fight through a slow start.
“We are trying to improve our game,” she said.
LOSS AS MOTIVATION
It wasn’t just NU’s streak that was broken by the UST loss, it was also that of Toring’s along with her fellow Nazareth School standouts Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon, Lams Lamina, and Erin Pangilinan.
“I used it as motivation that I have to bounce back since I’ve been part of the first six since last season,” Toring said. “My mindset was one set at a time since all the teams are eager to beat us.”
“We all know that UST and NU have been rivals since high school. So we were overeager. We won’t allow them to beat us because we are champions last season, which will be our motivation to win every game,” she added.
Toring said she was eager to lead the team, especially with her teammates Bella Belen, who was scoreless, and libero Jennifer Nierva getting benched after playing in the first set.
And she knows that her teammates will bounce back next game.
“They know it themselves when they’re lacking in their performance nila. For sure, Bella at Ate Jen will bounce back in the coming games, ” Toring said.
After her breakthrough performance this season, Toring vows to keep on improving for her team, which holds a 3-1 record behind leader La Salle.
“We will raise our own standards after we lost a set to UP. We hope to be more consistent and keep on improving after this game,” she said.
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