The champs are more than ready for a new UAAP season.
The pressure is on for the DLSU Lady Spikers as they look to defend their UAAP women's volleyball crown in Season 86.
While defending championships will be nothing new to De La Salle, this year is different for these Lady Spikers.
After all, the Taft-based squad lost several key pieces from their Season 85 championship run, including Fifi Sharma, Justine Jazareno, Mars Alba, and Jolina Dela Cruz.
The Lady Spikers have some big shoes to fill but star middle blocker Thea Gagate is still very much excited about what the team has to offer this season.
“We're very excited kasi even though nawalan kami ng key players, we still have players that are ready to step up on the role na naiwan nung key players namin,” Gagate told reporters during the UAAP Season 86 press conference on Monday.
Gagate, for one, will be one of La Salle's go-to players heading into the new season, along with Season 85 Rookie-MVP Angel Canino, and Shakey’s and Super League National Invitationals MVP Shevana Laput.
The trio will be tested as leaders as the 6-foot-2 middle blocker is also not one to put pressure on their rookies despite the high expectations set for DLSU.
“For me, I'm very excited for our rookies this season, but as seniors, we don't want to give them that pressure kasi we just want them to enjoy and let them know na we're supporting them,” said Gagate.
“As much as possible I don't want to give anyone that much pressure, I'll just really do my best as an ate and a senior inside and outside the court,” she added.
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Despite losing several stars, expect the Ramil De Jesus-led Lady Spikers to show why they are still one of the favorites to win the title this season.