UE Lady Warriors: facing the challenge of change
Mark Escarlote on Jan 27, 2017 01:30 PM
The Recto-based squad is back to hopefully start a new era to a team that has spent most of the decade at the bottom of the standings.
It took University of the East 59 games to finally end a long drought and celebrate a victory.
The win came on the Lady Warriors’ last game in Season 78 at the expense of Adamson University.
UE is hoping that the sweet taste of victory will linger as the Lady Warriors march into battle in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
The Recto-based squad is back to hopefully start a new era to a team that has spent most of the decade at the bottom of the standings including a 58-game losing skid that started from Season 74 until its 13th game in Season 78.
“Ngayon po mas dodoblehin pa namin ang pagiging palaban. As in warrior po,” said Season 77 rookie of the year and ace libero Kath Arado. “Kasi ‘yun naman po ang dapat naming gawin na maging palaban, na walang negative thoughts na papasok sa mind namin.”
The Lady Warriors lost last year’s team captain Celine Domingo, who transferred to Far Eastern University, and setter Dana Disquitado, but will still have top hitter Shaya Adorador, Judith Abil, Mary Anne Mendrez and Roselle Baliton, who will play a new role from being a middle blocker to a playmaker.
Head coach Francis Vicente, who is also tasked to handle the national women’s team, set a rather ambitious goal for the Lady Warriors considering the struggles of the squad for the past seasons.
“Ang sinasabi sa amin ni coach ay dapat ma-break namin na nandoon kami sa baba,” added Arado, named Best Libero during the 19th Princess Cup Southeast Asian Women’s U-19 Championship in Sisaket, Thailand last year while playing for the national youth team handled by Vicente. “Goal namin na umangat kami ng No. 6, 5 or 4.”
Adorador, who played for Generika in the Philippine Superliga during the off season with Arado and Baliton, said that their win against Adamson will serve as their rallying point to achieve their target.
“(‘Yung panalo to close last season) nakakadagdag sa amin ng confidence at tumaas ang morale namin. Ginagawa naming motivation ‘yun to motivate each other and to lift ang sarili naming para ‘yung goal namin maabot naming,” said the incoming fourth year player, who in her first two years swallowed a couple of winless seasons. “Ang goal namin ay umangat kami ng hanggang pang-apat. Imposible man pero kailangan namin kasi kailangan na.”
“Sawa na kami sa dulo. Pang-ilang taon ko na po ito. Sabik na sabik na ako sa panalo,” she added. “Naiiyak na nga lang ako kapag nago-open kami sa isa’t isa. Alam ni coach yun, nandoon siya kapag nago-open kami.”
The Lady Warriors face a daunting task to open their season when they take on then Jaja Santiago-led National University on February 4 in the scheduled 2:00 p.m. match at the Big Dome.
Catch the UAAP Season 79 women's volleyball tournament starting February 4, Saturday live on S+A, S+A HD channel 166 and via livestream.
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