UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas spiker Mary Dominique Pacres endured a humbling experience in her first two years with the Tigresses that pushed her to make the most of every opportunity in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Cebu native, who was always a starter during her high school days at Mandaue City Comprehensive National High School, debuted in the UAAP in two seasons ago along with EJ Laure and Sisi Rondina.
However, she wasn’t given much playing time on her rookie year and was relegated to Team B the following season, spending most of the time as 'pulot girl' during practices.
“Kasi po noong Team B, parang mas nakakapagod po talaga, pulot ka lang po ng bola, kesa maglalaro ka,” she recalled. “Tapos parang pinu-push ko ‘yung sarili ko na dapat ma-lineup ako ngayon.”
Her persistence is starting to pay off.
The unheralded opposite spiker has made the most of her opportunities as she led the Tigresses' revival after a 1-3 (win-loss) start to the season.
She has been a big boost for UST in their wins over National University and Far Eastern University. She came off the bench against NU and scored 11 points and she had 12 markers in her first game as starter against the Lady Tamaraws.
“Sobrang thankful po ako (ngayon) kasi naka-provide ako ng points sa team, nakatulong po ako at natulungan ko sila para mag-ingay sa court,” added Pacres.
After redshirting for a year, Pacres has been making her presence felt and her energy on the court is contagious.
“Sobrang thankful talaga kasi pinaghirapan namin lahat ito. Sa training po, lagi akong overload ni coach pag hindi ako gumagalaw ng maayos,” she said. “Tine-take ko ‘yun as a challenge and ‘yung hirap, kailangan siya mag-pay off.”