UAAP Season 81: Lady Warriors ready to change ‘reputation’
Mark Escarlote on Dec 26, 2018 05:07 PM
Judith Abil, Kath Arado and Me-Ann Mendrez will try to change University of the East's UAAP reputation.
University of the East has been lumbering at the cellar of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament for more than a decade.
For 11 years, the Lady Warriors endured season after season of futile campaigns. Victory is few and far in between.
Last year, the Recto-based squad won two games - a very rare back-to-back - for a team that a couple of years back went 0-58.
However, UE is ready to change all that come the UAAP wars, hoping that its success in the pre-season will fuel the Lady Warriors to embracing a winning culture.
UE recently bagged third place in the Philippine Superliga Grand Slam at the expense of last year’s UAAP runner-up Far Eastern University.
Not only did the Lady Warriors claimed a podium finish for the first time since winning bronze in the UAAP 14 years ago, UE also received a morale-boost after a couple of its players won individual awards including prized libero Kath Arado.
“Siguro kung ano ang naipakita namin dito mas more pa ang ipapakita namin kasi paghahandaan namin talaga ang UAAP,” said Arado, who is playing the first of her last two years with the Lady Warriors.
Arado won the Best Libero award while teammates Me-Ann Mendrez and Laizah Bendong were named 2nd Best Outside Hitter and Best Setter, respectively.
For UE, their stint also gave them a chance to test their mettle against other UAAP rivals in eventual champion University of the Philippines and University of Sto. Tomas.
“Sobrang laking bagay, impact sa team namin and at the same time challenging itong conference na ito kasi kumbaga hindi pa kami ganoon kabuo,” said Arado. “Tapos hanggang sa every game nagi-improve, nagma-mature so making bagay ito para pagdating ng UAAP matured na yung way ng pag-iisip namin saka yung galaw buo na.”
With the departure of veteran hitter Shaya Adorador after Season 80, Arado will be the face of UE in the UAAP.
The libero readily accepts her new role and is up to the challenge of leading a team full of hope.
“My god sobrang nakaka-ano. Yun nga lumalabas na rin talaga ang pressure kasi siyempre yung expectations (mataas). Pero with the guidance naman ng mga coaching staff ko, mga teammates ko feeling ko naman magagampanan ko yun if ever nga na yun ang mangyayari (as leader of UE),” she said.
“Magaganpanan ko ‘yun kasi malaki ang tiwala ko sa mga teammates ko saka di ko naman magagawa kung anong meron sa akin ngayon kung di rin dahil sa kanila kasi tinutulungan nila ako, saka yung mga coaches ko,” Arado added.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles