April 22, 2024

UAAP: UP secures NUNS standouts Kianne Olango, Yesha Noceja

UAAP: UP secures NUNS standouts Kianne Olango, Yesha Noceja
Yesha Noceja and Kianne Olango are expected to bring their championship experience from the UAAP juniors to the UP Fighting Maroons. Photo (c) UP Office for Athletics and Sports Development

Coach Oliver Almadro just got two more building blocks for the UP Fighting Maroons in the upcoming UAAP seasons.

UAAP Season 85 MVP and Season 86 Best Opposite Hitter Kianne Olango and outside hitter Yesha Noceja of National University-Nazareth School have formalized their commitment to the Fighting Maroons on Tuesday and will be eligible to play come Season 87.

"When you build a program, you need players with talent, determination, and leadership. Ganyan na ganyan yung maitutulong sa'tin ni Yesha and Kianne, as well as all our recruits. The UP volleyball program is really thankful they chose us," said Almadro.

The 5-foot-8 Olango led the Lady Bullpups to the championship last year and guided them to the Finals again this season.

[ALSO READ: Valdez anoints Kianne Olango as “future of Philippine volleyball”]

Joining her is Noceja, also 5-foot-8 and 18 years old, who was scouted while representing NCR in the Palarong Pambansa before becoming a vital player for NUNS.

In addition to relishing the chance to contribute to fostering a winning culture with UP, both are keen to lay the groundwork for their future beyond the court.

"I'm very thankful for the learnings I got from my time in NUNS. At the same time, sobrang excited ko lang din pong makapag-aral sa UP para sa future ko while also doing whatever I can to help out," said Olango.

"Malaking bagay pong makakapag-prepare kami para sa future namin on- and off-court sa school na nag-e-excel in both athletics and academics. Thank you very much to NUNS para sa lahat ng nagawa nila para sa'min,” Noceja added.

Noceja and Olango will continue their partnership in the Diliman-based squad, now joined by fellow blue-chip recruits Jothea Mae Ramos from Bacolod Tay Tung High School and Joanneesse Gabrielle Perez from Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

The talented prospects fresh out of high school will provide significant support for a UP team that last reached the Final Four in Season 79.