After UP denied UST in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament, sophomore libero Arielle Estranero zoomed to the top of the league’s Best Receivers list.
And while she is glad to be a leader as an individual, the Bacolod native is happier that the Lady Maroons have been winning.
“Siyempre masarap yung feeling na manalo. Understatement pa nga yung masarap eh. Hindi namin ma-explain, kasi every day nagt-training kami, and sa dulo pag nanalo, siyempre sobrang sarap,” she told FOX Sports.
Estranero shared that climbing the Best Receiver ladder has been the result of the constant prodding of coach Jerry Yee, who regularly reminds her of how crucial her role is.
“Kasi parati sinasabi ni coach Jerry na importante yung mga first touches, yung serve and yung first ball,” she said.
“Yung training namin, medyo nag-focus sa first ball. Binigyan ng focus ni coach Jerry yung first ball kasi doon nagsisimula lahat. Lahat kami nagfo-focus sa first ball.”
Even if she is just in her 2nd year in UP, Estranero considers herself as a veteran, considering the Lady Maroons are flush with rookies.
“I am one of the seniors na kahit second year palang ako, so kailangan ko sila bigyan ng feeling na pwede nila ako pagkatiwalaan, para ma-angat din nila sarili nila,” she added.
Before going to Diliman, Estranero was a star spiker for Western Visayas, helping lead the region to a surprise championship in the 2014 Palarong Pambansa in Laguna.
Now as a libero, the USLS alumna doesn’t get to spike the ball often, let alone try to score for UP. And this has led to her sometimes wondering what could’ve been.
“Minsan iniisip ko kung ano kaya kung spiker ako,” she shared. “Pero happy naman ako sa position ko kasi for the past 8 years or more, spiker ako. So ngayon iba yung position, and iba yung challenges.”
In fact, Estranero is thankful to her coach for the conversion, especially with how she has improved today.
“I would say I am thankful. Kasi nung high school ako, hindi naman ako ganun kagaling dumepensa o mag-first ball,” she said.
“Nung na-convert ako ni coach Jerry, dun ako natututo na kailangan ko maging matapang sa pag-depensa at sa first ball, kailangan ko mag-tiwala sa sarili ko na kaya ko rin dumepensa.” — By Arylle Magtalas