Following their win last season, University of San Carlos (USC) Lady Warriors aims to maintain the women’s volleyball crown this CESAFI Season 19.

USC Lady Warriors head coach Grace Antigua shared that the team has been fueling up from the first day of their training as most of last season’s team roster had already graduated. Only two of the remaining seniors are still going to compete this season.

“Usually mga bag-o. Ang naa pa since last year kay duha kabuok kay kadaghanan nila ni-graduate na. Mostly karon, 1st years and 2nd years (Usually, they are all new. There are still two of them from the last list, since most of them already graduated. Mostly this time, first years and second years.),” Ms. Antigua said in an interview with the CESAFI Media Bureau.

“Sila tanan (all of them) they’ve been playing during high school. They tried out here in USC then nakuha sila because I saw potential in them.”

The Warriors’ preparation includes physical and mental training, with the head coach encouraging them to do more and push the limit for worthy results.

As a coach, Ms. Antigua always reminds her student athletes to prioritize their studies. It is CESAFI’s standing rule that student-athletes may be able to play only if they maintain passing grades in all their academic subjects. “You cannot play if you fail on your subjects in school. Thus, time management is very important when you are a student athlete,” she said.

Ms. Antigua said last season’s championship was pulled off because of team effort, even if most of the team were graduating and the coaching staff, new. She added the victory was also the graduating student-athletes’ legacy to their alma mater.

“Especially with me as a new coach, they were encouraged because it was their first time to have a female coach. It added also on their motivation to win plus our training. They were really determined,” she said.

Looking forward to season 19, Ms. Antigua said, “We are still starting. I just hope we could maintain the championship. Hopefully, with God’s help.”—Janice Caparas, Cesafi Media Bureau