SportsA tribute to the captain: Abigail Maraño’s final voyage
A tribute to the captain: Abigail Maraño’s final voyage

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Never has there been a player as overly-animated as DLSU Lady Spiker Abigail Maraño. With UAAP 76 over, La Salle’s captain has exhausted her college volleyball eligibility and though she did not cap off her career with a dream championship finish, Maraño still has had one of the most respectable careers in the history of UAAP Women’s Volleyball. With three straight UAAP championships, including three individual UAAP awards, she has established herself as a volleyball icon not just in DLSU, but around the country.

In her farewell game, the Lady Spikers fell to the ADMU Lady Eagles in the final game of the UAAP Women’s Volleyball finals, snapping La Salle’s streak of three consecutive championships. Maraño was evidently emotional after the match, but still displayed the leadership skills that only an outstanding captain can possess. She composed herself and let her team know that she was still proud of what they had accomplished in the season. A few moments after the final whistle, many of the Lady Eagles approached Maraño to let her know about what a great competitor she was.

In the last huddle of the Lady Spikers for the season, Maraño’s hand was once again raised to the air, higher than everyone else’s, but this was for the final time.

 

An example of animo

Maraño is known for her animated celebrations after each DLSU point and it brings more to the table than it may seem. She infects her teammates with positive energy with her celebrations and it also serves as a form of intimidation towards her opponents. Those who feed off and enjoy her energy the most, however, are the fans. A joy to watch, Maraño ecstatically pumps up the the crowd and gets them on their feet to cheer, especially after an emphatic block or a crucial point.

La Salle’s team captain over the past two seasons, Maraño has had an illustrious career for the Lady Spikers. Maraño received the Most Valuable Player award twice and the best blocker plum once. She is a prime reason for DLSU’s consistency as a league leader in the blocking department as she has been leading the Lady Spikers in patrolling the net.

 

A salute to the captain

Maraño embodies the true essence of a team captain. The inspirational leader encourages everyone in her team to play harder. When her squad searches for a badly needed point, her reliable running spike is often the next play called by La Salle. Maraño leaves behind big shoes to fill and though it will be a daunting task to find a replacement for her, Maraño’s UAAP 75 co-MVP Ara Galang and the towering Mika Reyes are more than ready to step up and fill the void left behind.

Having been a dominant force over the course of her career, the remarkable team captain draws comparison to another DLSU Volleyball legend, Manilla Santos. Equally as impressive, Santos led the Lady Spikers to four championships–including a three-peat–and she won the Best Receiver award three times while earning the MVP plum in 2008. Currently, she is the only non-basketball athlete and the only woman to have her jersey retired by DLSU. With comparable achievements, Maraño’s #2 jersey could very well be joining Santos’ 14 in the rafters of the Enrique Razon Building soon.

 

Five remarkable years

The Lasallian Community owes a lot to a woman that used to be a little girl who grew up playing barefoot volleyball in Antipolo. Maraño certainly gave it her all over the course of her career and played with an undeniably big heart and a burning passion for the game. She elevated not only volleyball in La Salle, but also in the UAAP, which is why her popularity extends past the Lasallian community.

Maraño has a bright future ahead of her, and despite graduating with a UAAP 76 first runner-up finish, there is nothing for Maraño to be ashamed of. The heart of a true champion lies within talented Lady Spiker Abigail Maraño, and over the course of five years, she has shown each and every Lasallian what it means to live the Animo.