(Disclaimer: Sorry for the wrong grammar! Haha. I rushed this thing!)
So after that overhaul of talents last year, high school volleyball is left with a big scare of offering competitive games. As the college scene witnessed the exits of the Fab Five, Maika Ortiz, Jen Reyes, Pau Soriano, Michele Gumabao and others, the high school division also had to lose the likes of a Des Cheng, Jaja Santiago, Ana Gopico, Kim Dy and many others. At least 40 good players graduated and almost all high school teams are now rebuilding. So what’s next for high school volleyball?
Pic above: Justine Dorog of Hope and Sam Torres of CSA (pics are from their Twitter)
Since last year, everyone’s been talking about how this match-up between two outside hitters will take over when it is time for Des Cheng and Ana Gopico to graduate.
The past year saw improvements from both of them. Both players have improved their power and floor defense, sometimes scoring even more than their seniors Des Cheng and Ana Gopico.
With their key seniors moving up to the college ranks, they will be the ones leading their schools this year and the next/two as they are still technically in their 10th/11th grade (you know, K-12!)
Hope and CSA would normally face off in a lot of leagues so I guess it won’t be hard to try to witness the match up of these two great high school players.
Rise of Down South
If last year most of the good ones are in Metro Manila, this year the spotlight will now be in the Southern provinces. With the sudden boom of volleyball, surely, the girls from the provinces will also train harder to play in big cities and to be exposed. So far, there are a lot of good players in Visayas and Mindanao combined but only a few caught my attention. Although I won’t name them yet, I will provide a brief description of how they play.
Iloilo has an interesting tall duo. One is a lefty and has a powerful spike while the other one has good blocking and a sister who is already famous in Philippine volleyball.
Bacolod has a very good senior graduating this year. The girl leaps high and has good floor defense. She also packs a lot of power. She could be the next Angela Benting.
Cebu has two good seniors this year; a versatile player (yes, versatile as in she has experienced playing libero, setter, middle, blocker, outside and opposite) who is also a crowd favorite and a very good middle blocker who can really score a lot of powerful quick hits.
Davao has a good high leaper who can make things interesting this year. Since last year, she is already being talked about, even having articles in local newspapers.
Although not that much South, Batangas also has an interesting graduating duo this year. Both of them are tall and have good court sense. Both players pack a lot of power in their quicks and running attacks. While the other one’s strength is versatility as she can play both open and middle, the other one specializes in blocking and serving.
Based on my list, there are still 25 good ones graduating. Yes, we may have lost a lot, but definitely a lot of high school players will step up and give quality matches. As I’ve said, volleyball is booming in the country. Don’t be surprised if there would be more high school players who will be playing even better in the future.