April 22, 2024

Five things we learned from first week of UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball

Five things we learned from first week of UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball
From proven stars to super rookies delivering for their respective teams, UAAP Season 86 is shaping up to be an exciting tournament ahead. | Art by Mitzi Solano/One Sports

The first week of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament has passed and it’s safe to say that this season will be unlike any other.

UAAP fans are definitely excited to see what’s to come in the next games following the exhilarating matches and unbelievable performances.

While it's premature to make significant predictions this early in the season, here are five key takeaways from the eventful first week of Season 86:

1. Height isn't always might

In that short span, the DLSU Lady Spikers and the NU Lady Bulldogs—finalists of Season 85—have bowed to the small but terrible UST Golden Tigresses.

UST showed once again that they have one of the biggest hearts among the teams competing for the UAAP crown.

While it’s still early in the season, the Golden Tigresses have gotten all the boost they need to prove themselves worth of being called title contenders.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: Bernadett Pepito says UST has more to prove after sensational takedown of La Salle]

2. Expect La Salle and NU to make necessary adjustments

On that note, don’t expect the Lady Spikers and Lady Bulldogs to go down easily once they face UST in the second round.

Losing early on could also be a blessing for the two teams as they received a huge wake-up call for Season 86.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: What's wrong with NU? Coach Norman Miguel offers explanation to Lady Bulldogs' slow start]

As they get their bearings in the new season, teams will not want to mess with an angry La Salle or NU squad.

3. Make way for the new super rookies

Remember the names: Angge Poyos and Casiey Dongallo

An influx of super rookies have arrived in the UAAP over the past few years and Season 86 is no different with Poyos and Dongallo.

Poyos has been consistent in delivering points for the Golden Tigresses as they remain undefeated in the season.

Through three matches so far, Poyos maintained an impressive average of 20 points, including a season-high of 24 points in a memorable clash with fellow standout rookie Casiey Dongallo from the University of the East.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: UST’s Poyos, FEU’s Cacao hailed Players of the Week after undefeated start to Season 86]

Dongallo, meanwhile, has shown that she is indeed the go-to scorer that the UE Lady Red Warriors need.

She already made history by making 27 points against the Ateneo Blue Eagles, the highest scoring record by a UAAP rookie in her debut. Dongallo then reset her UAAP rookie record by creating 30 points against the FEU Lady Tamaraws.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: Casiey Dongallo breaks rookie scoring record in UE-FEU showdown

As early as now, the two could already make a case for the Rookie of the Year and MVP award just like Bella Belen did in Season 84 and Angel Canino in Season 85.

4. UE will be dangerous in the years to come

Despite a 1-2 record, the future is brighter than ever for the Lady Warriors.

Gone are the days when the Recto-based squad was fighting for a single win in the season.

With Dongallo leading the way, and with the Jelai Gajero expected to be ready come Season 87, expect UE to be ready to compete for a Final Four spot and maybe even a championship.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: Casiey Dongallo bares reason for choosing UE after explosive debut]

5. New coaches are still adjusting

Out of the eight UAAP teams, six are fielding new coaches in Season 86.

This is why it should come as no surprise that La Salle and UST, the only two teams that did not change coaches, are currently the top two teams in the league.

Slowly but surely coaches will find the right lineups and tactics for their teams as the season progresses.

For now, UAAP fans should enjoy the ride as Season 86 is only expected to get even more exciting.

The games will continue this Wednesday, February 28, as the Lady Bulldogs take on the Lady Falcons at 2 p.m. Meanwhile, the Blue Eagles and the Fighting Maroons will be looking for their first win at 4 p.m.

The matches will be aired on One Sports, the UAAP Varsity Channel, and the Pilipinas Live app.