Solo flight: Alyssa Valdez ready to spread wings further
MANILA, Philippines -- Today’s growing popularity of volleyball in this basketball-crazy country continues to soar high, just like this Lady Eagle.
UAAP Best Scorer. Spiking machine. Superstar.
You can name it all but she still keeps her feet on the ground and believes that volleyball will be her forever love.
She just plays hard.
Alyssa Valdez, the powerful hitter of the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagles is, indeed, a cut above the rest.
With the departure of Valdez’ ‘Ates’--- Ateneo’s celebrated Fab Five of Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, Fille Cainglet, Jem Ferrer and A Nacachi, the daunting task of steering the Katipunan-based tossers to another stellar season now falls on Valdez.
“Pressure will always be there for me to carry Ateneo but the whole coaching staff and the community do not make me feel pressured at all because they are all out in supporting the team,” said the 19-year-old Valdez. “I hope opportunities will continue to come.”
Despite her stature as one of the country’s most popular volleyball players today, Valdez still doesn’t feel she’s a superstar.
“I feel like it is still normal (superstar status) and I’m just so thankful and overwhelmed,” shared the Psychology student.
The five-foot-nine Batangas native, who played high school volleyball for UAAP rival University of Santo Tomas, said that volleyball will always have a special place in her life.
“Volleyball will never disappear in my life. You know, people got to know me because of volleyball, when you say ‘Alyssa Valdez’ it’s about volleyball,” quipped Valdez, the only girl in a brood of four siblings in their family.
Valdez, a one-time Palarong Pambansa spiker for NCR when she was in her first year in high school, admitted though that the wear and tear of playing volleyball will eventually take its toll someday.
“I would always love to play volleyball but we have to take into consideration the condition of our body.”
The graduation of the Fab Five has virtually made Ateneo an Alyssa Valdez team, but the charismatic Valdez is upbeat on their chances in the next UAAP season.
“We’re really training hard and I hope we can still make it,” added Valdez.
To the legions of her fans, Valdez has these words to say: “I hope they appreciate what I’m doing and I’ll just play hard for them.”
Indeed, Ateneo fans will still have a lot of things to look forward to next season.
And one reason is Alyssa Valdez. - Rappler.com