THE UP Women’s Volleyball Team has secured the commitment of Cebuana volleyball star Joanneesse Gabrielle Perez.
Perez is a standout of the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, who helped lead the school to the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) high school championship in 2022 and then another finals appearance in 2023.
However, she’s not the only rising star who committed to joining UP. Also giving her nod was Bacolod Tay Tung High School’s Jothea Mae Ramos, a 5-foot-9 former skipper for Bacolod Tay Tung who led Western Visayas to the 2023 Palarong Pambansa title as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
“The UP volleyball program and the UP community are really happy for the commitment of these two high school standouts. Aside from their talents, they will bring their aggressiveness and leadership to our UP WVT,” said program director Oliver Almadro.
The two will be big boosts for a UP side that last advanced to the Final Four in Season 79, when now-PVL superstar Tots Carlos and Isa Molde were still in maroon and green.
Their move to Diliman was aided by Frank Lao’s Strong Group, the new backer for both the WVT and Men’s Volleyball Team, as well as the UP Office for Athletics and Sports Development under director Bo Perasol.
“These recruits for our volleyball teams, we’re hoping they’re just the first of many. We have full faith in Coach O that our performance will improve because of how he’ll oversee the development of all our veterans and rookies,” said Perasol.