From being cut from the team in 2016 to becoming one of the most recognized college volleyball players in the country, DLSU Lady Spiker Michelle Cobb has been through a lot in her young career. But it has only just begun.
Despite being a rookie, the Behavioral Sciences major has shown keen aggressiveness and the desire to get better, rare qualities from first year players. Fulfilling the role of the team’s second setter, especially with limited minutes and playing beneath the shadow of Kim Fajardo was not the easiest job.
“First half of the season, okay pa siya eh, sobrang confident ko noon. Nung latter part na, especially noong finals, sobrang kabado ako, as in,” she recalled.
(It was okay during the first part of the season, I was so confident. During the latter part, especially in the Finals, I was really nervous.)
Coming off the bench, she had to always be ready in the event she gets called up. Cobb was keen on focusing on the match and riding its flow even from outside the court. She described that it was a struggle since she had to be prepared to play at the game’s pace every single time.
Even though she rarely saw action on the court, Cobb says that her growth, not only as a volleyball player but also as a person, has skyrocketed over a year’s time with the Lady Spikers. “Sobrang daming challenges emotionally [throughout the season],” she mentioned. “And nalampasan ko naman yun lahat so ngayon, feel ko I’m tougher. I’m tougher emotionally. I learned a lot of things skillwise every day.”
(There were a lot of emotional challenges [throughout the season] and I was able to go through it all so now, I feel like I’m tougher. )
The St. Scholastica College-Manila alumna enjoyed her fair share of recognition before, during her high school career. She received the WNCAA’s (Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association) Best Setter award twice, and was the league’s Athlete of the Year in 2011. She was arguably one of the most sought-after players entering college. However, she was cut from the team in last year, but was soon part of the second team and a year after, the Lady Spikers.
There was a drastic shift from the high school style of playing to that of the collegiate’s, Cobb explained. However, she was able to adapt to what she dubbed as the “genius” coaching style of head coach Ramil De Jesus, thanks to her teammates as well as the coaching staff.
But early in her career, it seems as if all eyes are on her, now that Fajardo has left. “Pasan ko yung mundo kasi wala na si Ate Kim,” she exclaimed. “Pero for now, I try not to think about it kasi pag in-overthink ko talaga siya, I lose hope.”
(I feel like I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders now that we don’t have Ate Kim.)
Despite all the pressure and expectations pressing in on her, she intends to use it as motivation to work harder and prove others wrong. “Definitely, there’s room for improvement. I won’t settle for what I did last season, sobrang dami ko pang matututunan (I can still learn a lot) and, you know, I’m just starting so it doesn’t end here.”