Casiey Dongallo eager to make UE a winner in UAAP volleyball

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UE Lady Warriors’ Casiey Dongallo during a game against Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Casiey Dongallo announced her UAAP arrival in style by scoring the most points in a UAAP debut with 27 points on Saturday.

Dongallo, however, made it clear she’s not just playing for personal accolades but also to help University of the East reach greater heights in women’s volleyball.

“The reason why we went to UE is we want to help UE rise from where they were before,” said Dongallo in Filipino after nailing 26 of her 67 attack attempts in UE’s 20-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-18 win over Ateneo in the Season 86 women’s volleyball opener on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.

“And it’s been fun because bit by bit we’re able to do just that which was really our purpose to begin with.”

SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball first round

The California Academy product admitted she felt rookie jitters, which led to their first-set loss.

Thanks to her UE teammates including her fellow rookies Kizzie Madriaga and Shamel Fernandez from California Academy, who reminded her to introduce her game in front of the Lady Warriors’ faithful.

DEALING WITH PRESSURE

“My teammates also talk to me and tell me that I just have to show my game. And of course, I need to show to everyone what I’m capable of for them not to be disappointed,” Dongallo said.

“They (teammates) told me look at all the people watching for UE and watching for you. They’re all looking forward to see you play and you need to show them what they’ve been waiting for,” Dongallo said. “Even doc (Obet Vital), coach Jerry Yee, they trust me and at first it was nerve-wracking. But my teammates just told me to play my game and I’ll be fine.”

UE only had a total of nine wins and suffered 119 losses in 10 years.

Determined to lead the program to a breakthrough, UE assistant coach Dr. Obet Vital admitted it won’t be easy as it will be a long process for the Lady Warriors, who lost top recruit Jelaica Gajero due to an ACL injury in the preseason.

The 18-year-old Dongallo agreed with her coach and will continue to trust the process and enjoy their first season.

“We will just do our best throughout this season. It will take time but we will make progress. We’re going to achieve our goals one by one. This win is one of our games and we’re hoping to still do our best next game,” she said.

UE battles University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

But Dongallo is looking forward to taking on La Salle, which it has yet to face even in the preseason.

“It will be a lesson for us when we play them. We’ll see how far we’ve come and how much UE has improved under a new system,” said Dongallo of their March 6 match against Angel Canino and the Lady Spikers.



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“Whatever we’ll learn against La Salle, we’ll sure use it in our training.”





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