Alyssa Valdez a proud `Ate' as UST girls team ends UAAP title drought
Former Tigresses Alyssa Valdez and Aerieal Patnongon proudly wear the championship jersey of the UST girls team that won the UAAP volleyball title. Photo courtesy of Aerieal Patnongon's instagram

ALYSSA Valdez can’t help but turn nostalgic.

Three years since leaving her high school alma mater, the young lady considered one of the best collegiate volleyball players today found herself wearing anew a University of Santo Tomas shirt as her way of supporting the team for winning the UAAP girls volleyball title.

The junior Tigresses ended a three-year title drought Saturday when they regained the championship in the deciding game of their best-of-three series with National University, 25-16, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22.

It was the first title conquest for the Espana-based squad since a team bannered by Valdez, Kim Fajardo, and Aerieal Patnongon won three straight from 2008-2010.

Valdez along with Patnongon had since transferred to Ateneo in college, while Fajardo found a new home at La Salle.

Upon hearing the good news, Valdez, now the star player of the Lady Eagles, was quick to recall her glory years while still playing for UST in high school.

“Sympre naman (naalala ko noong time namin)," shared Valdez to "Naalala namin nila Ate Aerieal (Patnongon) and Kim (Fajardo) kung ano pinag-daanan namin noon. Pero ngayon parang Ate kami na kahit anong mangyari sumusuporta pa rin sa kanila."

"Sobrang iba 'yung feeling na hindi na ikaw `yung nag lalaro sa loob ng court eh, pero syempre pare-parehas kami ng ni-represent na school so feeling naming mga alumni talaga nag champion din kami," added the native of San Juan, Batangas.

Recipient of the Miss Volleyball award along with La Salle’s Abigail Marano in the recent Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Annua Awards Night, Valdez said she can relate with the happiness being felt by the UST girls team right now as she is aware of the ups and downs the players have to go through before reaching their ultimate goal.

"Sobrang happy and proud talaga ako sa girls kasi alam kong malaki din mga sacrifices na ginagawa nila for the team,” she said.

“Also sa coaching staff, 'yung patience talaga nila and 'yung tiyaga nila sobrang naging maganda yung resulta."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada