Season 78 was the last and only time a pair of De La Salle University Lady Spikers hoisted the UAAP Women’s Beach Volleyball title.
It was a magical moment for La Salle.
Driven by an ambition to put all of the heartbreaks of seasons past behind, the tandem of Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo struck gold on the sands at the expense of FEU’s Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza.
During that eventful championship bout, a rookie — whose role was to come off the bench for the La Salle duo — witnessed such a moment transpire right before her very eyes.
That same rookie has now become one of the most proficient performers on the collegiate sand court in Tin Tiamzon.
Now down to her final playing year, the 22-year-old looks to make her own “triumphant” moment for the Taft-based program in the ongoing UAAP Season 82 Beach Volleyball tournament.
“So ‘yun nga, last year ko na. I’m really gonna miss this sport playing it for La Salle,” Tiamzon bared.
“Might as well give it my best and my all kasi nga it’s the last one, I have nothing else to come to next year.”
Delivering a title to La Salle in her swan song isn’t a long shot for Tiamzon.
After all, the 5-foot-9 Lady Spiker is one of the two remaining players who carry valuable championship experience in this year’s playing field — the other one being the heir-apparent to Sisi Rondina’s UST throne in Babylove Barbon, whom Tiamzon faced in the championship round a year ago.
The fact also remains that the veterans on the collegiate sand have been reduced to the point that Tiamzon, Barbon and Ateneo’s Ponggay Gaston are among the few notable holdovers from last year’s competitive pack. Not to mention that four-time beach volleyball queen Rondina has left the UAAP landscape as well.
But aside from retrieving the golden tiara back to the green and white, the proud daughter of Koronadal, South Cotabato is eager to fulfill one more thing before she bid farewell to the collegiate scene.
As she put it, “For me, ang mindset ko palagi is to leave something behind for them, something memorable and something that they can learn from and also grow from.”
Tiamzon was referring to the lasting legacy she ought to leave to rookie Justine Jazareno and sophomore Matet Espina — the present and the future of DLSU’s beach volleyball program.
And so, the graduating La Salle stalwart has been putting her best foot forward with the tournament well underway.
Tiamzon has been an anchor of stability for La Salle, even towing her team to an unscathed 3-0 win-loss slate after Day Two. Through her sheer will and veteran smarts, she is steadily showing the way for her younger sisters-in-arms.
There’s no question that Tiamzon’s eyes are set on steering La Salle back to the promised land. Still, she is going take her final journey on the collegiate sand one step at a time.
“First goal, top four – that’s the very first goal. And then, kung makaabot kami doon, we’ll see from there,” she said.
“Pero I think, we have the potential naman to go far in this tournament and I’m proud of my teammates kasi marami kaming pinaghirapan through training.”