The Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) has added Filipino-American opposite spiker Steven Rotter to the men’s volleyball team for the upcoming 32nd Southeast Asian Games.
National team head coach Odjie Mamon confirmed the development to Tiebreaker Times on Sunday night.
“He’s part of the Fil-Am Nation club sa States. So yeah, he’s part of the pool. He’s cleared to play,” said Mamon after Rotter made his debut for AMC-Cotabato in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference.
“Definitely he’s a scorer, scoring machine rin ‘yan. He can serve, he can attack, and he can block. He’s a welcome addition… There are guys who are willing to play for the flag so hindi kami nag-dalawang isip when he offered to play for the national team,” he added.
Rotter played two seasons at Long Beach City College in 2017 and 2018. He was named to the First Team All-Western State Conference and bagged the Western State Conference Most Valuable Player award in his final year.
The 6-foot-6 opposite spiker was also named to the All-Tournament Team of the California Community College Athletic Association in the same year.
Following his two-year stint with LBCC, Rotter transferred to Cal State Northridge, where he redshirted his first year before finally suiting up in the next to play Division I volleyball.
“It’s nerve-wracking. Leaving the United States to come fly 16 overseas to the Philippines but after I got here, I was super excited for a new opportunity to play and represent the Philippines,” said Rotter, who finished with nine points in the Cotabato Spikers’ straight sets win over Vanguard at the Paco Arena.
“They were hosting a tryout in California. First time ever. My friends sent me a link on Instagram and I was like ‘I have to do this.’ I consider this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he added.
Rotter said that he is looking forward to helping the Philippines get its first-ever gold medal in the SEA Games.
“First thing I’m looking forward to is playing in the SEA Games. I know that we haven’t achieved a gold medal and that is my goal for this whole thing, to get a gold medal for the Philippines,” said Rotter.
He also said that he is grateful to Mamon for including him in the Cotabato Spikers’ lineup in the Spikers’ Turf. According to Rotter, this will allow him to build chemistry and blend in with his new teammates.
Cotabato’s Jau Umandal, Rex Intal, Lloyd Josafat, Kim Dayandante, Jayvee Sumagaysay, Vince Lorenzo, Madz Gampong, Vince Mangulabnan, and Edward Camposano are all part of the national team pool.
“When I found out that almost all of my teammates are on the national team, it was kind of surprising. I didn’t expect anyone to be on the same team but I’m glad that they’re my teammates, I’m glad that I’m on this team.”
“I hope to make a better connection with them and maybe learn some tagalog from them ‘cause I can’t speak a lick of it. But yeah, they’re really good guys,” he added.