Leading a UST volleyball team is nothing new to Detdet.
From Sisi Rondina to Alina Bicar to Eya Laure, the UST Golden Tigresses never fall short of having a steady captain to lead the team through the rigors of a UAAP season.
Season 86 should be no different, as the España-based squad will be led by Bernadett Pepito.
The 21-year-old libero will be no stranger to holding the team captain, playing the same role with the UST Junior Golden Tigresses back in high school.
However, Pepito knows that leading a team in high school and college are two different things.
“'Yung nag-captain ball kasi ako sa high school is pandemic na nun, so medyo siyempre less 'yung responsibility kasi hindi mo naman nakakasama 'yung mga teammate mo, 'yung mga coaches nung time na 'yun sa court,” Pepito told One Sports.
“Siguro 'yung pinagka-iba niya ngayon, siyempre sobrang laking responsibility kasi lalo ngayon women's eh, college,” she added.
But like the fearless libero that she is, Pepito is not one to back down from the challenge.
“Sobrang pressured pero at the same time nae-enjoy ko eh kasi nga parang sanay ako na maging vocal as a teammate, as an ate nila,” said Pepito.
The Golden Tigresses are coming into Season 86 with a young lineup, mostly composed of rookies and sophomores.
But even if that’s the case, Pepito is confident about her team’s skills, especially coming off an impressive second-place finish in the 2023 Shakey's Super League Collegiate Pre-Season Championship.
“Sinabi ko sa iba na parang 'Batang Senior' eh kumbaga. Ako lang 'yung may experience na three years sa paglalaro ng itong women's kasi karamihan na diyan mag-two pa lang, so mahirap siya actually pero skills wise naman, nandun na lahat,” said Pepito.
“'Yung mga attitude naman ng mga bata, hindi naman sila nagpahirap sakin. Hindi naman sila nagpahirap na pasunurin, may mga times lang talaga na pasaway lang pero hindi sila ganun kabibigat para ma-burden ba,” she added.
With the entire Thomasian community behind them, expect the Golden Tigresses to go all out once more in the upcoming season, as they look to once again bring the crown back to España.