The Ateneo de Manila University is known for being one of the premier schools who is good in basketball, badminton and football. Over the years, the school has won numerous championships in both sports, and is considered as perennial contenders for the three. Special mention to football, wherein the school dominates the sport be it grade school, high school or college.
This year though, aside from the mentioned sports, the school has tried to make a statement by recruiting high school standouts in a sport that is rapidly becoming popular, volleyball.
Aside from the player I featured a few weeks ago named Xavier Conrad Senoren, the school has been succesful in recruiting Duane Craig Teves and Rey Angelo Africa both from Canossa Academy-Lipa. Xavier Conrad Senoren will be a good addition in the line-up being a tall open spiker and so as Duane Craig Teves who is a good hitter as well. Rey Angelo Africa’s entry to the team is very much fitting as the team lacks a legitimate setter. With a line-up so deep which includes last UAAP’s 2nd and 3rd Best Scorer Andre Joseph Pareja and Joseph Michael De Joya as well as the then-setter now hard hitter Timothy James Santo Tomas, a taller and stronger Katipunan team is expected come UAAP Season 71 together with perennial contenders UP and FEU as they try to enter the Final Four in UAAP History.
In the distaff side, the Ateneo Women’s Volleyball Coaching Staff has been succesful in recruiting five high school standouts. The first one is the tall Gretchen Ho of Immaculate Concepcion Academy who is a versatile and powerful hitter. Next are the two Saint Scholastica College girls namely Fille Saint Merced Cainglet and Angeline Gervacio who are likewise powerful and versatile hitters. Angilene Gervacio is a very powerful spiker as she won the Best Attacker in Women’s Volleyball League and in Women’s National Collegiate Athletics Association. Fille Saint Merced Cainglet was a vital cog for the Junior Scions as she led Saint Scholastica’s College to championshipsand was hailed MVP for three consecutive years in Women’s Volleyball League and two consecutive years in Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association. The next two girls will be coming from the two-time Shakey’s Girls’ V-League National Champion Hope Christian High School. The first one is Melissa Gohing who is the open spiker of the team and the libero of the National Capital Region in the Palarong Pambansa 2007. The last recruit of Ateneo is none other than Jamenea Ferrer who was hailed as Best Setter and MVP in the Shakey’s Girls’ V-League.
The Ateneo Lady Eagles made the Final Four last year and has deeply lost six important players in Maria Rosario Soriano, Patricia Lynn Taganas, Karla Bello, Bianca Katrina Sison, Stephanie Gabriel and Trisha Anne Therese Limgenco. But, with the recruitment of their management, a lot has been expected again of the Katipunan-based spikers. Since a lot of schools lost a lot of vital players in their team also, and that the Ateneo Lady Eagles recruited almost all of the highly recruited high school standouts, it is but natural that people will expect a lot from the Lady Eagles next year. On the other side of things, these girls are lucky cause they will be trained by the legendary and new Ateneo Head Coach Roger Gorayeb. These girls will be trained to be the best that they can be both mentally and physically. Come to think of it, Jamenea Ferrer will fit well with the Ateneo team after having lost Karla Bello and Trish Limgenco, the team’s setters. Likewise, they are in need of a legitimate versatile hitters that will replace Charo Soriano, which will be the role of both Fille Cainglet, Gretchen Ho, Melissa Gohing and Angeline Gervacio.
It is interesting to note that Ateneo de Manila University is now taking the volleyball competition seriously and is contributing to the promotion of Philippine Volleyball. With this revamping of Ateneo de Manila, the other teams will be deeply inspired to recruit as well and will make the competition even tougher in tournaments. Hence, strengthening and nourishing the volleyball skills of our girls, who might compete in international tournaments soon.