UAAP Womens Volleyball Preview: UE Lady Warriors
It took the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors five years to finally end a 58-game losing streak in the UAAP women’s volleyball last season.
Through the efforts of coach Francis Vicente, it finally happened when the Lady Warriors pulled an upset win Adamson University in their final match last year.
But the victory was short-lived. Even before UAAP Season 79 opens on February 4, UE already lost key players Celine Domingo and setter Dana Disquitado during the off-season.
Domingo transferred to UE’s UAAP rival Far Eastern University, while Disquitado went back to his hometown where she decided to play for a school in Biñan, Laguna.
Still, there is no way to go but up.
The Recto-based volleybelles finished fourth in the 2016 Unigames, even winning a set against defending UAAP champion De La Salle University.
UE also went to Thailand for training, which has the best volleyball program in Southeast Asia.
Fifth-year player Shaya Adorador and former Rookie of the Year and libero Kat Arado are expected to lead the retooled Lady Warriors in Season 79, especially after suiting up for Super Liga team Generika last year. Veterans Judith Abil, Mary Anne Mendrez and Jasmine Alcayde should also be able to produce decent offensive numbers.
Vicente has also turned middle blocker Roselle Baliton to a setter, and we are curious as to how would this play out. After all, Vicente was the UST high school coach of UAAP Volleyball legends Alyssa Valdez of Ateneo, Kim Fajardo of La Salle, as well as Dindin and Jaja Santiago of NU.
But even with a very good coach in Vicente, we don’t see UE going up a notch this year because the Lady Warriors offense lacks stability and firepower needed to counter that of the rest of the field. (Alex Cerado)
2016 UAAP Finish: 8th place
Fastbreak’s prediction for 2017: 8th place