Perhaps one of the most respected teams in the league to date, the reigning UAAP Women’s Volleyball champions, the DLSU Lady Spikers hope to extend their dominance towards a rare four-peat.
Hanging on to the volleyball championship trophy for three straight years, the Lady Spikers stunned their opponents in the previous season with a 13-1 elimination win-loss card and a 2-0 sweep of their championship matches against the ADMU Lady Eagles.
Products of the domineering force of the Taft-based squad were two co-MVPs, Ara Galang and team captain Abby Marano, who are also key returnees for this year’s championship bid. With UAAP Season 75 Finals MVP Michele Gumabao forgoing her final year of eligibility, along with the graduation of veterans Wensh Tiu and Melissa Gohing, the Lady Spikers seek force from the presence of Mika Reyes, Kim Fajardo, Mika Esperanza and Cyd Demecillo along with a pool of talented new recruits.
Headed by their reputable mentor Ramil De Jesus, who has led the team to eight championships since 1999, the rookie-laden Lady Spikers are keen on preparation as formidable opponents have grown even tougher.
The Lady Spikers have recently concluded their stint in the 2013 Philippine University Games (UniGames) held in Bacolod City, finishing third place in the tournament behind their UAAP rivals, the FEU Lady Tamaraws and the UST Tigresses.
The Lady Spikers post an unmatched record of 12 finals appearances since the 1999 season, clinching a three-peat twice over the past decade. With the Taft-based squad still at the peak of their dominance, La Salle hopes to extend the dynasty to four.
On the other hand, the DLSU Green Spikers concluded last season’s tourney with a third place finish after losing to the eventual second placers, the FEU Tamaraws, in their Final Four series. The Green Spikers started on the wrong foot early in the eliminations but they managed to make a second round comeback with a 4-3 record good enough for a Final Four ticket. However, they fell short against FEU’s twice-to-beat advantage that unfortunately ended their bid.
As a fresh season begins, the Green Spikers seek to complete their unfinished business and to take home the championship. Team captain Philip Cerveza, who will be playing his last year with the team, shares, “Generally, the training is the same, except for the fact that since the season is going to start soon, we now have more tune up games in order to test out the things we practiced during training.”
The Green Spikers welcomed a new coaching staff and four rookies who will join the Green Spikers’ roster this season. Meanwhile, senior starters Carlo Rivera and Myco Antonio will no longer suit up for the team, though both are still eligible to play for one more year. The latter is regarded as the team’s best scorer.
Recently, the Green Spikers also participated in the 2013 UniGames wherein they took home a silver medal after losing to the NU Bulldogs. But with such achievement, the Green Spikers are definitely much inspired to reach their bigger goal of becoming UAAP champions.
Despite losing two veterans, Cerveza assured that the team will remain solid come December. “The core of the team is still intact compared to last year, and personally I can see our team competing in the finals this year,” he says.
It has been a long time since the Green Spikers last sat on the championship throne in 2003. That was just the squad’s second title since La Salle entered the UAAP, with the first coming in 2001. With the new season coming, the Green Spikers hope to end their decade long title drought and bring back the long-awaited crown to Taft Avenue.