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Manila, Philippines

Why Volleyball is “not just a sport” for Soaring Falcon Ishie Lalongisip

Photo courtesy of Fitz Cardenas

After almost a decade of practicing the sport, Adamson University and UAAP Season 82's Athlete Scholar of the Year Rochelle “Ishie” Lalongisip reckons that Volleyball is more than just a sport for her, but rather a lifestyle already as its principles and practices consolidate her manner of approaching the everyday life.

Eager to dive into new explorations and persuaded by her mother to join the school’s volleyball team in fourth grade mainly because of her height. Ishie gladly took her shot. Since then, her devotion to the sport has flourished as she perceives a clearer insight into its value.

"I wasn’t really serious about playing Volleyball. I just wanted to have some fun. When I stepped on 7th grade, I started joining competitions and leagues outside the school. In 9th grade, I was given a chance to play and represent the Batangas province, and at that time, I have received a lot of awards, and I knew more about the volleyball world, which brought me more into a wider scope of Volleyball. In my last year in junior high school, I played as an import in DLSL representing Batangas. I was able to play at many events and also met a lot of players and coaches from different places,” she says.

Soon afterward, Lalongisip was tapped to play for the Adamson University by coach Lerma Giron — former head coach of the volleyball varsity team in Holy Rosary College in Laguna, UE girls’ volleyball team, Adamson University’s Baby Falcons, and now the head coach of Adamson University’s Lady Falcons. Lalongisip’s motivation to develop her skills, be exposed to bigger leagues, and eventually play professionally, spawned her to play for the Adamson University.

Photo courtesy of Fitz Cardenas

Lalongisip recalls her transition to a new environment, from Batangas to Manila, spurred torment, for she was forced to live and adapt to the changes alone. The support from her teammates abated the challenges and the collaborative effort helped her cope with the new situation gradually.

It appears Lalongisip made the right call, surmounting trials, heading the Adamson Baby Falcons Girl’s Volleyball Team from UAAP Season ’81 to ’82, and was rightfully recognized by the UAAP as the Athlete Scholar of the Year for HS Girls Volleyball.

“Volleyball is not just a sport for me; it's my lifestyle already. I cannot imagine myself without Volleyball. It has molded me as a person; it taught me a lot of life lessons. It taught me love, patience, discipline, pain, heartache, happiness, and more. It makes me a better version of myself. It brings out the best that I can do, which I didn’t expect I can. Throughout the years of playing the sport, it establishes and builds my attitude of who I am now. We all have different challenges and problems that we face, but I know that we will all overcome those if we choose to be brave to face them. One thing that also makes me even braver than before was getting close to God. Having a strong relationship with God makes you even stronger even on your bad days,” she shares.

While there are still restrictions on sports activities, hampering Ishie to show some action on the court, she shared that her team has been relentlessly training despite the disruption of some movement caused by the pandemic. They have been preparing for the next UAAP season — aiming to be on the upswing, putting out a braver and bolder attitude, and far from the mindset and performance they have showcased in the previous leagues.


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