UAAP Volleyball

A star is born: Rookie Dongallo sparks hope for languishing UE after 27-point debut

JR Isaga

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A star is born: Rookie Dongallo sparks hope for languishing UE after 27-point debut

SHE'S GOT NEXT. UE spiker Casiey Dongallo attempts an attack over the Ateneo defense in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Hotshot rookie spiker Casiey Dongallo provides a much-needed ray of hope for a languishing UE women's volleyball program that has only won 9 times in 10 years with 119 losses to boot

MANILA, Philippines – Nine wins in 10 seasons.

That has long been the predicament of the lowly UE Lady Warriors in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, with a whopping 119 losses in that miserable decade-long stretch.

While the program has had its share of diamonds in the rough like Shaya Adorador, Judith Abil, and Kath Arado, no one, despite best efforts, has lifted the Lady Warriors to any semblance of contention in recent memory.

That may change, however, with the arrival of hotshot rookie Casiey Dongallo.

In just her first collegiate game, the California Academy product quickly brushed off noticeable rookie jitters and exploded for 27 points on 26 attacks and 1 ace, as UE downed rebuilding Ateneo after a first-set setback, 20-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-18, on Saturday, February 17.

Led by other young standouts like Ange Reyes (22 excellent digs) Krizzie Madriaga (16 excellent sets), and Rizza Nogales (13 points – 9 attacks, 4 blocks), the Lady Warriors overcame the once-mighty Blue Eagles for the first time since the Season 73 tournament 13 years ago.

Aware of the immense hype surrounding her and her fellow ex-Califonia Cal Babies, Dongallo made it her sole mission to get past her own uncertainties and deliver her game the way she’s been known for.

“First of all, I’m just thankful to my teammates because I cannot do that, I cannot have 27 points without them,” she said in Filipino. “I’m just happy that during the time I was nervous, they were there, they didn’t let my game dip. They were there to lift me up.”

Although it is just the first game, Dongallo’s scoring eruption was a much-welcomed ray of hope for a UE program desperate to find a new star to lean on.

For the 17-year-old spiker, she hopes that she, her fellow newcomers, and her senior teammates can usher in a new age for UE down the line, even if the wins don’t come in bunches just yet.

“I’m happy because the reason we went to UE is we want to lift UE to where it was before, and I’m happy because we’re slowly proving our purpose,” Dongallo continued. “We will just do our best throughout this season because as I said, we just want to lift UE back.”

“It will take time. It will progress and we will slowly fulfill our goals. This win is one of them, and we’re hoping that we continue to do our best in the next games.” –

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