UAAP Volleyball

UP women’s volleyball finds Palaro gem, Western Visayas prospects amid revamp

JR Isaga

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UP women’s volleyball finds Palaro gem, Western Visayas prospects amid revamp

BUILDING THE FUTURE. Western Visayas volleyball prospects Jothea Mae Ramos (left) and Joanneesse Gabrielle Perez pose with Maroons program director Oliver Almadro

UP Office of Athletics and Sports Development

Retooling women's volleyball program UP scoops gems from Western Visayas, namely CESAFI champion Joanneesse Gabrielle Perez and Palarong Pambansa MVP Jothea Mae Ramos

MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, the UP Fighting Maroons are bolstering their lineups and future potential with the commitments of two young Western Visayas standouts, Jothea Mae Ramos and Joanneesse Gabrielle Perez, on Wednesday, January 17.

Perez, a 5-foot-8 spiker of Ateneo de Cebu, shone brightest amid the Magis Eagles’ title-winning run in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) high school tournament in 2022, followed up with a runner-up finish in 2023.

The 5-foot-9 Ramos, meanwhile, steered Bacolod Tay Tung-Western Visayas to the 2023 Palarong Pambansa secondary girls volleyball gold medal off a five-set stunner of National University-NCR, and was subsequently named tournament MVP.

UP women’s volleyball finds Palaro gem, Western Visayas prospects amid revamp

These moves are the first of likely many more to come under the guidance of new program director Oliver Almadro, former champion head coach of the Ateneo men’s and women’s volleyball teams.

“The UP volleyball program and the UP community are really happy for the commitment of these two high school standouts. Aside from their talents, they will bring their aggressiveness and leadership to our UP WVT,” he said in a statement.

The two prospects are expected to become key cogs in a program that only netted six wins in the last two seasons.

Currently, the Fighting Maroons are trying to earn a return trip to the Final Four – the last appearance being in Season 79 in 2017, when the likes of Tots Carlos and Isa Molde still led the charge.

UP Office of Athletics and Sports Development director Bo Perasol hopes that these moves help break that drought soon, and that the Maroons soon find their groove with the new direction they are taking.

“Hopefully, these recruits are just the first of many for our volleyball teams,” said the former men’s basketball head coach.

“We have full faith in Coach O (Almadro) that our performance will improve because of how he’ll oversee the development of all our veterans and rookies.”

Ramos and Perez are soon set to join a promising lineup led by the likes of Niña Ytang, Nica Celis, and Abi Goc. – Rappler.com

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