UAAP Volleyball

California Academy core commits to UE Lady Warriors

Philip Matel

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California Academy core commits to UE Lady Warriors

BIG BOOST. Young standouts (first row, from left) Claire Castillo, Casiey Dongallo, Jelaica Gajero, Kizzie Madriaga, and Grace Fernandez join the UE Lady Warriors team officials.


Casiey Dongallo and Jelaica Gajero, both young members of the national team, lead the five new recruits expected to boost the UE Lady Warriors’ stock in UAAP women’s volleyball

MANILA, Philippines — The UE women’s volleyball team acquired key building blocks in its rebuilding bid after obtaining the commitment of five recruits, four of which from the rising California Academy program.

Philippine team members Casiey Dongallo and Jelaica Gajero banner the Lady Warriors’ new recruits along with their California Academy teammates Kizzie Madriaga and Grace Fernandez, and Maryhill College’s Claire Castillo.

 The five – all eligible to play in the next UAAP season – formalized their UE commitment on Thursday, July 19, in a team gathering with new Lady Warriors head coach Jerry Yee and backer Frank Lao in San Juan.

UE also brought in the Antipolo-based school’s head coach Obet Vital as one of Yee’s assistant coaches.

Incidentally, Yee mentored the core in 2021 when he steered California Precision Sports to a fifth-place finish against professionals from the Premier Volleyball League in the PNVF Champions League for Women.

California Academy also claimed the PNVF Under-18 Girls and Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Invitational League (GVIL) crowns in 2023.

Dongallo bagged the Shakey’s GVIL Most Valuable Player award, while Madriaga won Best Setter in both tournaments.

Gajero claimed the Best Outside Spiker, Fernandez the Best Libero, and Madriaga the Best Setter in GVIL.

UE, which ended UAAP Season 85 with a dismal 1-13 record, hopes to break its lengthy postseason drought, having last appeared in the Season 69 Final Four in 2007. –

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