USP-F Lady Panthers: No rest for Cesafi volleyball queens

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | February 09,2024 - 05:03 PM

USP-F Lady Panthers players during their Cesafi women's volleyball finals. | Photo from Cesafi

USP-F Lady Panthers players during their Cesafi women’s volleyball finals. | Photo from Cesafi

CEBU CITY, Philippines — There’s no rest for the newly-crowned volleyball queens of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Lady Panthers. 

This was after its head coach, Yolly Rizarri, revealed that they would not stop training even if the long Cesafi season finally capped off last Sunday, February 4, with her team winning the title for the first time in 15 years. 

“Actually, dili mi magstop og practice, naa ra gyud mi pirmi. Anytime naa man manginvite namo, ready nami anytime. Dili baya na overnight ang preparation. Kinahanglan non-stop ang practice para naay duwa dili ta mabehind,” Rizarri explained during a post-match interview with Cesafi. 

(Actually, we will not stop to practice, we will be here always. Anytime, somebody will invite us, we are ready anytime. The preparation is not overnight. The practice should be non-stop so tht when there is a game we won’t be behind.)

READ: Cesafi women’s volleyball: USPF Lady Panthers crowned champions

USP-F Lady Panthers training continues

“Five in the morning among training kay college naman gud ni sila. Ilahang klase is eight in the morning, so naa mi three hours to train and start much earlier every day,” she said.

(Our training will be five in the morning because they are college students. Their classes start at eight in the morning, so we have three hours to train, and start much earlier every day.)

The Lady Panthers and other Cesafi volleyball teams are actively invited by various tournaments in and outside Cebu throughout the off-season. 

To recall, the Lady Panthers were one of the two Cesafi women’s volleyball teams who competed in the Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals last July.

Joining them was the erstwhile Cesafi champions, the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Lady Jaguars, who finished with a bronze medal this season. 

READ: Cesafi women’s volleyball finals: USPF outlasts USC, forces do-or-die game 3

USP-F Lady Panthers players

Last Sunday, the Lady Panthers brought the Cesafi women’s volleyball title back to their turf after outlasting their rivals, the University of San Carlos (USC) Lady Warriors, in Game 3 of their best-of-three finals series.

They edged the Lady Warriors of head coach Grace Antigua in four sets, 24-26, 25-19, 25-21, and 26-24.

Besides revealing their non-stop training, Rizarri credited five of her players whom she kept since their three-peat Cesafi high school title.

Rizarri has been very vocal about her players, who she has been with since their 2019 Cesafi three-peat run in the girl’s volleyball competition. 

One of those five players is her team captain, Ressel Pedroza, who was the Cesafi women’s “Most Valuable Player” and the tournament’s second-best outside hitter. 

READ: Player profile: Ressel Pedroza of the USPF Panthers

Best Libero, Best Setter

The rest are Maria Tess Gloria , Dya Hanica Mejos, Vanessa Minoza, and Liane Minoza. 

Minoza and Gloria were named the best setter and best libero, respectively. 

“Grabe baya among duwa sa Game 2, after all sa kasakit, anhi ra daugon sa mindset, warm up ra nato ni, mabalik na pud atong energy which is to win. Ni work jud siya,” said Rizarri. 

(We played hard in Game 2, after all the pain, it all comes down to mindset, that is our warm up, our energy to win is also back. This worked.)

“Kaning mga players nako karon, five of them kay three-peat champion sila. So, gi expect sad na nako mo work gyud sila. Mao na ilahang gi ingon ang comeback sa USPF high school players, ako sad na gi foresee ma champion sila,” she said.

(My players now, five of them are three-peat champions. So I expect that they will really work hard. That is what they say the comeback of the USPF high school players, I also foresee that we can become the champion.)

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TAGS: Cesafi, USP-F Lady Panthers, volleyball

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