By: Ohmer Bautista
Following the disbandment of the United Volleyball Club, Fil-Hawaiian pro Kalei Mau only had one thing in mind – to further hone her skills as a player in PSL.
With her explosive play, battle-tested mettle, and vast experience as a player, it came to no surprise that numerous teams opened their doors for the 24-year-old spiker.
But in search of a system and a training regimen that rival the ones imposed overseas, she took her talents to Ramil De Jesus’ program under the banner of F2 Logistics.
“The reason why I chose F2 was mainly I thought about what team will benefit me as a player,” the 6-foot-2 Outside Hitter said.
“For a long time in UVC, we didn’t really have a system that I was used to in playing overseas and playing back home in the States.
“What I wanted to do is to try and find something close to my training level back in the States, back to when I was playing in college just to really get me prepared for SEA Games,” the Philippine National team member, who played collegiate volleyball at University of Minnesota before transferring to University of Arizona, continued.
Although having admitted that she did not want to cut ties with UVC, more than anything, she is grateful for the opportunity to play with the Cargo Movers, who also have fellow National members Aby Maraño, Kim Fajardo, Dawn Macandili, and Majoy Baron on board.
“I didn’t want it to end this way as UVC had to. But I’m really thankful that F2 just so happened had a spot for me and welcomed me with open arms especially with me not having anything at the moment,” she gushed.
“I’m just really grateful for the opportunity to be able to still play in the PSL and just to continue to improve my game.”
Mau also disclosed that she attended F2 Logistics’ training for the first time earlier this Thursday, and it was also her first time back on a volleyball court.
Moreover, for a player as versatile and lanky as Mau, chemistry with local setters, who are used to making plays for smaller hitters, is one of the many things that they have to work on – an adjustment that she did not encounter playing with fellow Fil-Am Alohi Robins-Hardy, the then-UVC setter.
“I just jumped in at practice this morning, it was my first day back,” she confided. “The only thing that I would say is I would really want to spend a little more time connecting with my setters there, just because I know that a lot of Filipina setters, they’re smaller.
“It might be a little hard to try to adjust but it’s not impossible. What I like is high and faster sets to the pin. Something that a connection that me and Alohi like it was natural to.”
With the acquisition of the hard-hitting spiker, F2 Logistics is definitely one of the teams to look out for in the All Filipino Conference of the Philippine SuperLiga. That development, however, does not bring any pressure for the erstwhile UVC skipper; rather, it lifted some of the weight that she had to carry back in UVC.
“No. Not at all. I think I had a lot of pressure on UVC especially putting on my leadership role and also putting my team on my back,” she shared.
“What I’m really excited about is to take care of myself just to worry about my performance and not to worry what my teammates are gonna have to do.”