Kalei Mau was present when the Philippine women’s volleyball national team succumbed to Vietnam in five sets during their debut match in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Mau sat and watched from the sidelines as her sisters in sports ran out of steam against the Vietnamese.
She was there when the Nationals opened the game with a scintillating first set victory, when the team squandered early leads in second and third sets, when they came back to life in the fourth to force an extension and when they fell short altogether in the fifth.
But while she witnessed first-hand how the host country bowed, the Fil-Am ace is choosing to look into the brighter side of the loss.
In a tweet Tuesday night minutes after the game, Mau urged the Filipino volleyball community to not be discouraged of the setback as the Philippine volleyball, according to her, is growing and improving.
“Let us not be discouraged! This team has made huge improvements in just this year and Philippines Volleyball is most definitely on the rise! I am still honored to be a part of this type of growth,” she wrote.
Mau was part of the national team that won bronze in the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix in September.
A prolific scorer and a decent defender, the F2 Logistics hitter is tipped to carry the scoring load along with Alyssa Valdez and Mylene Paat in the Philippines’ quest to end a 14-year medal drought.
But in a stunning twist of fate, Mau was ruled out of the biennial meet after failing to secure clearance from the United States Volleyball Association to play for the Philippines in the SEAG.
She then went back to her home in Hawaii to spend time with her family and friends before returning to the country to resume training with the Craig Movers and support the Pinay spikers during the regional tourney.