UAAP Volleyball

Who rules the court? A look at UAAP volleyball champions through the years

James Patrick Cruz

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Who rules the court? A look at UAAP volleyball champions through the years
Rappler dives into the archives to see which schools have ruled supreme on the volleyball court 

For decades, the UAAP volleyball scene has witnessed dynasties rise and fall.

From powerful spikes that ignite the crowd to nail-biting finishes that leave everyone on the edge of their seats, these matches have fueled intense rivalries between universities.

Rappler dives into the archives to see which schools have ruled supreme on the volleyball court. The data in this story are based on the old website of the UAAP and manual research.

Women’s volleyball

Since the early seasons of the UAAP, Far Eastern University (FEU) has commanded the women’s volleyball arena, clinching a record-setting 29 championship titles. 

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses trail behind with 15 championships. Their last championship triumph was in Season 72 in 2010, although they narrowly missed the grand prize in Season 73 in 2011 and Season 81 in 2019.

For Season 86, the Tigresses are poised to vie for their 16th victory, facing off against another contender from Sampaloc, Manila, the National University (NU).  

Following in UST’s footsteps is De La Salle University (DLSU) with 12 championship titles. The Lady Spikers’ reign gained momentum primarily in the early 2000s. DLSU secured a series of three-peat victories from seasons 66 to 68, 73 to 75, and 78 to 80.

In the most recent editions of the UAAP, DLSU continued to showcase its supremacy by clinching the crown for the 85th and 86th editions of the league.

Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines (UP), one of the UAAP’s founding members, boasts eight championship titles. In the inaugural UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, the Fighting Maroons emerged as victors.

Despite a strong start, UP’s journey to reclaim the title remained elusive since Season 45.

Ateneo de Manila University and National University have each claimed at least three championship titles in the women’s volleyball league.

Under the leadership of volleyball phenom Alyssa Valdez, the Lady Eagles clinched their first golden trophy against archrivals, the DLSU Lady Archers. The following year saw another triumph for the women’s team of Katipunan.

In UAAP Season 81 in 2019, the Lady Eagles soared to victory once again, bolstered by the formidable trio of Bea de Leon, Maddie Madayag, and Kat Tolentino.

The NU Lady Bulldogs initially clinched their championship title in Season 16, followed by another triumph in Season 19.

After 65 years, the Bulldogs reclaimed the crown, defeating the Lady Spikers in 2022 behind the league’s first rookie MVP Bella Belen

Unknown to many, the Manila Central University was also once part of the UAAP. In 1952, the MCU, along with the University of the East (UE), the University of Manila, and Adamson, were granted probationary membership to the UAAP.

During seasons 20 and 24 of the league, MCU claimed the women’s volleyball title. However, in 1962, MCU made the decision to withdraw from the collegiate league.

Men’s volleyball

Much like their female counterparts, the men’s volleyball team of the FEU Tamaraws also asserted dominance in the league, boasting 25 championships. 

From season 9 to 20, the Tamaraws recorded a 12-long championship streak, the longest in the history of UAAP men’s volleyball.

However, reclaiming the title has been a challenge for the Tamaraws, who last clinched the championship in Season 74.

UST also stands tall with an equally impressive tally of 18 championship titles. The last time España secured the UAAP men’s volleyball crown was around 12 years ago, in 2011. 

This season, like the Golden Tigresses, the Tigers are also in a bid to reclaim the championship title in the finals up against NU.

With 12 golden trophies, the UE Red Warriors follow behind UST. Most of their victories were during the ’60s and mid-’70s. 

NU, one of the rising stars in UAAP men’s volleyball, boasts a total of five championship titles, including consecutive victories in seasons 75 and 76, and again in seasons 80 and 81. NU is the reigning champion.

Meanwhile, UP has four championship titles under its belt, mostly from the late ’70s and early ’80s. 

Adamson and Ateneo have each clinched three championship titles in UAAP men’s volleyball. 

The Blue Eagles achieved a remarkable three-peat streak from seasons 77 to 79; meanwhile, the Falcons’ triumphs were recorded in an impressive three-peat streak from seasons 45 to 47, in the early ‘80s.

While La Salle’s women’s volleyball team boasts a dozen of impressive championship titles, its men’s volleyball team has yet to establish its dominance in the arena. To date, it has only secured two championship titles.

The UAAP court continues to witness new contenders rise and familiar faces return. As the current season unfolds, we can expect more thrilling matches and a possible reshuffling of the championship leaderboard. – with reports from Aldei Rodriguez/Rappler.com

 Aldei Rodriguez is a Rappler intern. He is a 4th-year Bachelor of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Manila.

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