Inquirer 7 top UAAP 81 women’s volleyball players: Week 3 | Inquirer Sports

Inquirer 7 top UAAP 81 women’s volleyball players: Week 3

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 05:48 PM March 04, 2019

Every week, INQUIRER Sports will be ranking the seven best performers in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament. The author will base the rankings on the players’ team standings, statistics, and the intangibles that don’t appear on the stat sheets.

UAAP Season 81 volleyball top 7


MANILA, Philippines—Teams are slowly lining up the grid with a tense atmosphere surrounding them, and the gears are just waiting to move for the ultimate takeoff.

Three weeks in but there is not one team in a considerable place to legitimately claim pole position.


Defending champion De La Salle, Ateneo, and University of the Philippines are all in a tight battle at the top with identical 3-1 records.

University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University are behind at 2-2 with Adamson, University of the East, and National University all gearing up to make surprises with those three teams holding 1-3 records.

Now that’s out of the way, here are the best seven of this week.

1. Diana Carlos (University of the Philippines, outside spiker)
Weeks on list: 2
Last week: No. 3

Diana Carlos UP Lady Maroons

Diana Carlos. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Count on Diana Carlos to provide scoring and a bunch of other stuff.

UP played just one game this week and boy was Carlos all over the place.

She scored 19 points in the Lady Maroons’ five-set stunner of La Salle, 21-25, 25-20, 25-21, 20-25, 15-12, while also anchoring the Lady Maroons’ defense with 22 excellent digs and 18 successful receptions.


Carlos’ captaincy isn’t just based on leadership, it’s also rooted in her exceptional play and these two factors led her to being named the Chooks to Go-UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week.

And it may be slim, but Carlos is now the league’s leading scorer with 71 total points.

2. Isa Molde (University of the Philippines, outside spiker)
Weeks on list: 2
Last week: No.7

Isa Molde UP Lady Maroons

Isa Molde. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER

UP’s puzzle won’t be complete without another one of its high-scoring duo.

With Carlos doing much of the dirty work, and also a huge piece of the scoring, there’s Isa Molde, who was focused on scoring and aerial defense.

Molde, Season 78’s Rookie of the Year, was UP’s offensive focal point and she delivered with 20 points on 17 spikes and three blocks.

Carlos and Molde, however, are just the two of a three-piece totem pole for UP with the other being Ayel Estrañero.

3. Kat Tolentino (Ateneo de Manila University, opposite hitter)
Weeks on list: 2
Last week: 1

Kat Tolentino Ateneo Lady Eagles

Kat Tolentino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Ateneo played just one game this week but it was enough to show the league that the Lady Eagles are still one of the bigger forces in the league.

Driving Ateneo’s engine that day was Kat Tolentino, who scored 13 points in the Lady Eagles’ quick win over UE, 25-15, 25-21, 25-16.

Tolentino would finish the week with 70 total points and is tied for the second spot in the Best Scorers table with UST’s Cherry Rondina.

4. Judith Abil (University of the East, outside hitter)
Weeks on list: 1
Last week: N/A

Judith Abil UE Lady Warriors

Judith Abil. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

It’s always a thrill to see all the teams get into the winners’ column so when UE took its first win of the season the energetic Judith Abil made sure she’d do it in style.

Abil put up 22 points in four sets in UE’s win against Adamson, 20-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-22, making her the owner of the second-most points scored in a single game behind Molde’s 23 against, as fate would have it, the Lady Warriors.

UE, though, lost its next game against Ateneo but Abil was still on her mark with 14 points.

Abil has so far scored 66 total points making her the sixth best scorer in the league.

5. Kath Arado (University of the East, libero)
Weeks on list: 1
Last week: N/A

Kath Arado UE Lady Warriors

Kath Arado. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Hard work always pays off and Kath Arado proved that this week.

The league’s Best Digger and Best Receiver was an impenetrable force in UE’s win against the Lady Falcons tallying 39 excellent digs and 28 successful receptions.

Ateneo then knew that Arado was a defensive dynamo that the Lady Eagles practically avoided her in their win on Sunday.

Arado registered just 13 successful digs in the the Lady Warriors’ loss to Ateneo.

6. Jolina Dela Cruz (De La Salle University, opposite hitter)
Weeks on list: 2
Last week : No. 6

Jolina dela Cruz La Salle Lady Spikers

Jolina dela Cruz. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Jolina Dela Cruz is back on the same spot where she was in in the previous week.

Coming into the league relatively overshadowed with all the hype surrounding UST’s Eya Laure, Dela Cruz has so far proved that she’s one of the legitimate contenders for the Rookie of the Year plum.

Dela Cruz was solid in La Salle’s win against NU with 12 points but she was also capable in becoming the team’s focal point in the Lady Spikers’ next game.

Despite the loss to UP, Dela Cruz was fed the ball for much of the match and she finished with 19 points—a team-high—on 14 spikes, four blocks, and one service ace.

7. Ayel Estrañero (University of the Philippines, setter)
Weeks on list: 1
Last week: N/A

Ayel Estrañero UP Lady Maroons

Ayel Estrañero. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Ayel Estrañero is the third piece of UP’s star puzzle.

Carlos and Molde usually grab the spotlight because of their offense but the one running the show is Estrañero.

In UP’s win against La Salle, Estrañero severely outclassed her opponent Michelle Cobb with 38 excellent sets to her counterpart’s 21.

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TAGS: Ateneo Lady Eagles, Ayel Estrañero, De La Salle Lady Spikers, Diana Carlos, INQUIRER, Isa Molde, Jolina dela Cruz, Judith Abil, Kat Tolentino, Kath Arado, La Salle, Sports, top 7, University of the East Lady Warriors, University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, UP, UST
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