Cesafi women’s volleyball: Determination made Lady Panthers win championship title

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | February 14,2024 - 05:19 PM

Cesafi women's volleyball: Determination made Lady Panthers win championship title

USPF Lady Panthers show their medals after winning the Cesafi women’s volleyball championship title. | CDN File photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Lady Panthers recently reclaimed the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc.’s (Cesafi) women’s volleyball title after 15 years by beating the University of San Carlos (USC) Lady Warriors in their best-of-three finals series. 

The Lady Panthers of head coach Yolly Rizarri finished off the Lady Warriors of head coach Grace Antigua in four sets, 24-26, 25-19, 25-21, and 26-24, in game three of the Cesafi volleyball finals last February 4, at the latter’s home court in the USC Main Campus gymnasium.

Many didn’t expect the Lady Panthers to win the Cesafi title, but they overcame their doubts and adversities with their sheer determination to win the title.

In their recent guesting in CDN Digital’s SportsTalk, the Lady Panthers shared some important insights that paved the way for them to win the Cesafi women’s volleyball title. 


Rizarri said she doesn’t just instill discipline and hard work in her players, but she also treats them as her daughters. This way, they can communicate better and create a unique family-like bond that resonates beyond the Cesafi court. 

“Every time we get out of the gym, we are [a] family.  We adapted that. Sila sad, they didn’t treat me as their coach alone, most of the time naa ko sa dorm with them.  As much as we can, we don’t talk [about] volleyball, but when we go to the gym we practice,” she said. 

Dya Hanica Mejos, one of Rizarri’s long-time players, who has been working with her since their three-peat Cesafi high school title run, agreed to the need to treat each other as a family. 

“We always treat each other as a family, not just teammates. We make sure that after training, we also have time to bond with each other,” said Mejos.


Besides treating each other as a family, the Lady Panthers also instill sheer focus and discipline every time they set foot on the Cesafi volleyball court. 

According to Ressel Pedroza, the reigning Cesafi women’s volleyball “Most Valuable Player” and the tournament’s second-best outside hitter, they always pour everything during practice. 

Pedroza is also the Lady Panthers team captain.

“Disiplina gyud ang importante ug ang paghatag sa tanan. Ang gibuhat man gud nimo sa practice anha ra ba na makita sa tournament,” said Pedroza. 


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

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TAGS: Cesafi, USPF Lady Panthers, volleyball

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