The reigning UAAP Volleyball champs bid adieu to two of their starters after UAAP Season 75, namely Finals MVP Michelle Gumabao and libero Melissa Gohing. It is truly a big blow to the team but coach Ramil de Jesus’ Lady Spikers are determined to continue their winning ways, even without their departing duo.
In their first test, they did not disappoint.
Like an unstoppable Hurricane that relentlessly gains momentum, DLSU breezed through the 2013 National Inter-Collegiate Volleyball Championship, held at the University of the Cordilleras last April 30 to May 5.
The Lady Spikers won their fourth straight championship in the national tilt to complement their current UAAP three-peat. They faced off against the University of the Cordilleras in the semi-finals and later on in the finals, the University of the Philippines. They swept both opponents, 3-0, and did not allow either to score more than 15 points in a single set. The semi-final match lasted only 51 minutes and had scores of 25-15, 25-12, and 25-14. On the other hand, the finals ended with set scores of 25-14, 25-12, and 25-14.
Not only did they nab the crown, but they also dominated the individual awards of the summer tournament. The Lady Spikers collected the Best Hitter, Best Setter, Best Coach and the MVP awards in the Cordilleras, leaving only the Best Blocker award on the table. The Best Hitter award was awarded to the towering Mika Reyes while the Best Setter plum went to sophomore Kim Fajardo. Best Coach was given to the multi-titled De Jesus and the MVP award was bestowed upon rookie Desiree Cheng.
Their outstanding performance indicates a promising future for the Lady Spikers as the arrival of four talented rookies has injected the squad with new life after the departure of their veterans. Standouts from the Palarong Pambansa, the rookies are the standouts of their high school class and have all decided to suit up for the Green and White.
The rookies are bannered by the PVF MVP, Cheng, who hails from Hope Christian High School. She also earned last year’s National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) MVP award and was highly sought by recruiters from different universities.
Her fellow rookies include Arriane Mae Layug from Holy Angel University High School and De La Salle Santiago Zobel School’s tandem of Dawn Nicole Macandili, the NCRAA 2012 Best Libero, and Kim Kianna Dy, the NCRAA Best Blocker.
While observers note that the departure of Gumabao and Gohing may be a huge blow for the Lady Spikers, the infusion of young talent, as seen in their PVF four-peat, gives them an even chance to maintain their grasp of the UAAP crown.