‘UP Rookie Spotlight’ is a series on the Lady Fighting Maroons’ newest recruits. You’ve seen them on court, now learn more about these iska-atletas off court.
Sophia Marie Dee already had another UAAP school in mind when the opportunity to play for the UP Lady Fighting Maroons came knocking at her door. As a matter of fact, she was already training with them. But the privilege to study and represent the country’s premier state university was something she could not pass up. Especially since being an iska runs in the family.
“I was overwhelmed when Coach Okumu spoke to me after the tryouts. I never really expected to get it in,” the 17-year-old shared.
“I was so happy kasi UP is one of my dream schools and my sister is also an iska. Syempre, it was also the best choice for my family.”
The Opposite Spiker from the University of Perpetual Help System initially felt pressured. The transition to the seniors, coupled with the stress of traveling from Laguna every day to attend tryouts and practices made college tough at first. But her dream fueled her to continue.
Now, she’s easing in to the collegiate type of play and she thanks her new teammates for it. Sophia appreciates her seniors’ help in improving herself — on and off court.
“At first, na-pressure ako makipagsabayan sakanila, but in the long run, masaya sila kasama. Talagang mga ate sila sa amin, parati nila kami gina-guide.”
Looking forward to playing for the UPWVT, she’s taking in all that she can right now so that when her time comes, she’ll be ready “sa skills and mentally,” she adds.
As for her volleyball idols, Sophia looks up to Jovelyn Gonzaga of the Cignal HD Spikers who is also a lefty like her. She also admires Palarong Pambansa Finals MVP and soon-to-be NU Bulldog, Joshua Retamar.
Outside of the court, Sophia enjoys a hearty home-cooked meal, like her mom’s adobo. This UP rookie is also a hopeless romantic, gushing over “The Vow” and how it melts her heart every time.
“To know that someone can love you so much that they’re willing to make you fall in love with them again. Grabeee sya sa puso!”
You can catch Sophia Dee and the rest of the UP Women’s Volleyball Team in their games. Visit UPWVT.com for more information on game schedules, scores, news, and free tickets.