Prior to NU’s big win over La Salle, the starting setter position was up in the air for three playmakers in veterans Ivy Perez, Azie Soliven and rookie Rica Diolan.
Diolan’s inspired performance against the powerhouse runners-up from last year, however, might convince NU head coach Roger Gorayeb that the freshman is ready for the collegiate wars.
Pitted against former best setter Kim Fajardo, who finished with 39 excellent sets, the Davaoeña was not too far behind, dishing 35 of her own.
“Sobrang happy ko po,” exclaimed a visibly relieved Diolan after the match.
“Ang laki po ng expectations nila pero tinutulungan nila ako. Sinasabi nila na kung ano ‘yung laro ko nung high school, mas mag step-up lang,” she added.
Through her effective ball distribution, Diolan confused the Taft squad’s blockers, enabling Jaja Santiago, Jorelle Singh and Myla Pablo to combine for 48 big points.
According to the playmaker, the results of Wednesday’s matchup could also be attributed to the Lady Bulldogs finally shaking off their jitters.
“Kaunti nalang yung kaba unlike nung first game,” she shared. “Wala akong mindset before ng game kasi ‘yung turo sa akin dati ay mag-imagine lang ng kung ano ‘yung dapat ko gawin sa game.”
Though she tried out for other UAAP teams like Adamson before joining NU’s women’s volleyball team, Diolan is steadfast in saying she has made the right decision to stay.
“I made the right choice. Utang na loob ko sa NU na nandito na ako. At least sa NU wala na akong proproblemahin,” she closed. — By Arylle Magtalas