UAAP girls volleyball star Joyme Cagande is eager to prove her worth in the women’s tournament as National University leans on a very young squad in a bid to return to the semifinals.
NU is parading six rookies in the UAAP Season 81 women’s tournament and there is quite a bit of a pressure on Cagande, a three-time UAAP Girls’ division Best Setter who is likely to play behind the returning Rica Diolan after the sudden departure of veteran Jasmine Nabor.
“This coming season medyo challenging siya for us kasi new players (kami) parang yung adjustment namin medyo nahihirapan pa kami,” Cagande said. “Aminado naman kami na marami pa kaming kailangan i-work out as a team.”
“Si ate Jas marami kang matututunan sa kanya. This time, siguro I’ll take this opportunity to learn,” she said. “Exciting siya kasi magaling si ate Jas talaga. So ako, mas nachachallenge ako to pursue myself to be better as the day goes by.”
Jorelle Singh is also out, as well as former MVP Jaja Santiago after five years with the NU Bulldogs, but Cagande is confident her teammates have what it takes to get the job done.
“Siyempre looking forward for the championship po pero hindi madali yun we have to earn it,” she said. “Marami kaming bago pero this team will work hard and we will work game by game and hopefully makarating kami sa championship.”
“Trabaho lang, everyday work out, everyday dapat for the betterment of ourselves and for the team. So pagdating sa expectations ng tao hindi namin iniisip yun kasi marami kaming kailangan gampanan sa role namin.”
Cagande is grateful that their seniors bannered by team captain Roselyn Doria, Risa Sato, Audrey Paran and returning setter Rica Diolan have been supportive and hands on in guiding them for their first season in the college league.
“As the day goes by with the support of our ates, madali po yung adjustments kasi andoon yung suporta sa bawat isa,” Cagande said.
“As a rookie kailangan magampanan mo yung role mo talaga so pagdating sa pressure well lahat naman ng players may pressure pero it’s how you handle it,” Cagande said.