Last year’s finish: Sixth
Key losses: Angeli Araneta, Chester Ong, Arianne Ilustre
New acquisitions: Mae Angeli Basarte, Diana Mae Carlos, Sheena Mae Chopitea, Justine Dorog, Aieshalaine Gannaban, Maristela Genn Layug, Maria Lina Isabel Molde
UNIVERSITY of the Philippines is hoping participation in tournaments in the offseason was enough to prepare the rookie-laden Lady Maroons for the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
Mae Angeli Basarte, Justine Dorog and Maria Lina Isabel Molde from Hope Christian High School, Diana Mae Carlos of Sta. Cruz Academy, Sheena Mae Chopitea product of Barangka Natioal High School, Aieshalaine Gannaban of Parang High School and Maristela Genn Layug from King's Montessori School made their presence felt in V-League events.
Basarte and Gannaban were part of the UP team that finished third in the Reinforced Conference in December, while the other five were in the lineup when the Lady Maroons finished sixth in the Collegiate Conference in October of last year.
UP senior Kathy Bersola believes playing in the local tournaments was enough to get them ready for the collegiate season.
“I expect na ’yung mga rookies namin maglalaro ng hindi parang rookies kasi ‘yun nga tulungan lang kami sa loob ng court,” said Bersola.
“Sobrang malaking tulong siya compared sa other teams na hindi nakakuha ng ganoong exposure at least ’yung rookies namin na-experience na nila ’yung same vibe sa UAAP so hindi na sila mahihirapan mag-adjust for UAAP,” she said.
“Malamang may pressure sa rookies pero para sa akin hindi nakaka-affect sa kanila kasi kahit sabihin nating rookie sila ang mature na nila mag-isip and hindi na sila nagpapaapekto sa ganoon,” said Bersola.
Bersola, last year’s best blocker, who will make her comeback after suffering a left knee injury she suffered more than a year ago, boosting the Lady Maroons along with top hitter Nicole Tiamzon.