Entering the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, second-year La Salle setter Michelle Cobb had pretty big shoes to fill. She was the heir to a position that was so brilliantly played by none other than Kim Fajardo.
The beginning of the season for Cobb was rough. She bore the brunt of head coach Ramil de Jesus’ frustrations, especially in the first round.
But after playing 17 games — and now with a championship — Cobb can finally breath easily.
“Siyempre the first word that comes to my mind siguro is, ‘finally!’
“Parang I was able to prove myself kahit I’m a new starting setter. I was able to prove to myself also na I can fill in the shoes of Ate Kim,” expressed Cobb after tallying 23 excellent sets and 17 excellent digs in their championship clinching match against Far Eastern University.
“I wouldn’t be here also without the help of my seniors, they really pushed me. And of course, props to coach [Ramil de Jesus] kasi he pushed to my limits and I’m forever thankful, pinudpod niya ako in a way,” the 18-year-old playmaker furthered.
She still has a long way to go to reach the elite setter bar that Fajardo has set, but with La Salle’s strong volleyball program, it’s safe to say that she is on her way.
Being under the tutelage of champion coach de Jesus is already a big edge.
“Ngayon ko lang na-realize na grabe [yung patience ni coach]. Pinagtiyagaan niya ako.
“Ang saya sa feeling kasi siyempre na-repay ko yung hardwork niya sakin, yung effort na binigay niya sakin sa training, na-repay ko yun through the championship. [Sabi ko kay coach] thank you for the trust and believing in me until the end,” the product of St. Scholastica’s College, Manila shared.
Next season is a bigger role for the 5-foot-3 Lady Spiker. After going through all the tough experiences this season, she seeks to enter her third playing year with more maturity and better decision-making skills.
“Every year we rebuild the team [kaya] siyempre a lot can happen in a year. Hard work pa rin and new role na naman yung dadating sa akin kasi may mga bagong [players na papasok]. Everything is a process.”