ROOKIE setter Marianne Sotomil stepped up for University of the Philippines as it missed graduating playmaker Ayel Estrañero due to acute gastroenteritis on Sunday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan City.
Sotomil showed a lot of promise in suddenly filling in for Estrañero as she dished out 32 excellent sets, although to no avail as the Lady Maroons fell to the UST Tigresses, 21-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-20, that dropped them to a 2-1 win-loss record in a tie with their tormentors and Ateneo.
The 18-year-old setter said she had to overcome jitters and make the most out of her first start and extended playing time.
“Siyempre as a rookie mayroong ibang feeling like kaba pero kailangan ko lang panindigan yung opportunity sa akin na makapaglaro,” Sotomil said. “Kasi wala si Ate Ayel kanina. Sinusunod ko lang yung mga sinasabi ng coaches.”
UP head coach Godfrey Okumu was impressed of his young playmaker despite the sorry loss.
“Yes, we missed ayel’s leadership but Sotomil was great,” Okumu said. “To me as a coach, all my players are the same. The only thing we needed was leadership to push the young players.”
Estrañero, for her part, tried to play but she felt so weak and was too dehydrated that’s why she was rushed to the hospital but still watched the game at the venue.
“I think I ate something last night tapos nagsuka na and all. But then, I thought I'll still be able to play because I still felt better but after a while, nanghina na talaga. Too dehydrated and I had to be rushed to a hospital,” she said.
The graduating setter was still impressed on how her teammates fought hard, especially Sotomil.
“I can see that the fight was there, siguro, kinulang lang. But of course, it's heartbreaking not being able to play,” Estrañero said. “But honestly I'm happy that Marianne Sotomil was able to play, because she really played well and was able to contribute to today's game.”
Estrañero will return to action when UP tries to bounce back against De La Salle on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.