UST Golden Tigresses boost intact line-up with ‘Blessing’

...but treasured prospect to study college at DLSU
Photo from UST Women’s and Girls’ Volleyball Team’s Facebook page

THE UST Golden Tigresses just got taller after tapping the services of a 6’2 middle blocker from Nigeria to strengthen their intact squad ahead of the UAAP Season 87 women’s volleyball tournament.

Blessing Unekwe, 19, will hold the Tigresses’ foreign student-athlete slot.

Her arrival, which was announced by the UST Women’s and Girls’ Volleyball Team in its Facebook page on Saturday, June 29, will add depth to the already stacked cast of UST middle blockers composed of Em Banagua, Bianca Plaza, Mae Coronado and senior Pia Abbu.

The promising rookie is a core piece of the Nigerian women’s volleyball team and was hailed best blocker during the 2020 U-18 Girls African Nation’s Volleyball Championship.

Meanwhile, homegrown talents from the Junior Golden Tigresses, namely middle blocker Margaret Altea, opposite hitter Ysa Chua, outside spikers Bien Arasan and Abi Sinson and libero Sandrine Escober also committed to join last season’s runner-ups.

Along with these new additions, the España-based squad also recruited middle blocker Francine Osis from National University (NU), open hitter Ashley Knopp from Angeles University Foundation, libero Johna Ajero of Davao City, libero Franzine Rameri and middle blocker Kaizah Huyno from Kong Hua School.

The then rookie-laden Tigresses dethroned the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers during last season’s semifinals but bowed to the NU Lady Bulldogs during the championship. 

The Tigresses will showcase their prowess in the 2024 Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals on July 10 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium. 

Win some, lose some

While the senior women’s volleyball team managed to secure the commitments of promising players, one of its treasured prospects has decided to leave UST.  

Junior Tigress star setter Maile Salang, who played for Alas Pilipinas girls’ volleyball team, is bound to transfer to DLSU for college. The Fil-Am setter will be suiting up for the Taft-based squad on Season 88, along with former Junior Golden Tigress setter Ela Raagas. 

However, the women’s junior volleyball team also welcomed new paws with the acquisition of 6’4 middle blocker Erin Sotto, sister of Gilas Pilipinas player Kai Sotto. F – Nicole Atuan

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