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5 Things You Didn't Know About Women's Volleyball
While every Juan knows that basketball is the national pastime, there’s no denying that a whole other ball game has captured our hearts as of late. With adrenaline-pumping hard court action and intense drama, collegiate volleyball is capturing the nation by storm. Here are 5 thing budding volleybal fans should know!
1. Women's Volleyball was part of the UAAP from the beginning.
When the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) was founded in 1938, women’s volleyball was already included in the tournament (the men’s division would only be introduced post-World War II). In the early years of UAAP women’s volleyball, Far Eastern University would dominate both men’s and women’s divisions. Ateneo de Manila only fielded a volleyball team in 1978 (Season 41), while DLSU only joined the game in 1986 (Season 49).
2. It was moved to the second semester in 2006 (Season 69).
Why is this a landmark moment? Moving the volleyball event to the second sem would allow the games to be televised—something the UAAP board really intended to do, to hopefully get more people interested in the sport. Looks like they got what they wished for—the UAAP women’s volleyball championship is one of ABS-CBN Sports and Action channel’s most-watched games (and it even airs over TFC!)
Photo by Jaime Campos
3. Pro leagues were created to keep players playing—and us watching.
We never really miss our favorite UAAP basketball players because they simply move on to the Philippine Basketball Association, but until 2004 that wasn’t the case with the volleybelles we idolized. It was only when the Shakeys V League introduced itself as the the premiere league where off-season, UAAP and NCAA volleyball teams could still compete, that we realized we could have all-year access to our favorite spikers—and we’ve been hooked every since. The Philippine Super Liga was also conceived in 2013, where a lot of UAAP heroines now play or even coach corporate teams.
4. The electrifying season 77 sweep of the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
Sure, other teams have swept previous seasons. But, at the time Ateneo did it, volleyball obsession had reached fever pitch. Fans went crazy over each game's drama and excitement. The Lady Eagles were instant celebrities (does Team Besh ring a bell?)—but one particular Lady Eagle went on to become a household name…
5. The Alyssa Valdez Phenomenon.
She made waves even in her high school years playing for the University of Sto. Tomas. The Batanguena beauty captured everyone’s hearts with her simplicity and nerves of steel. Her talent and work ethic has won her several championships and awards. Phenom, indeed.
Image by: Getty Images, IG @ateneoladyeagles_, Jerome G. Ascaño - Vleague Photos