To win, a person needs to be able to muster enough strength to keep pushing through the many trials that may come when trying to get to the top. There will be times where one may just want to sit back and give up in exasperation but a winner knows that stopping is not even an option. Winning by yourself poses many challenges and when you mix in winning as a team, it just turns into a whole other ball game.
It is to no surprise that Alyssa Valdez has led the Ateneo Lady Eagles to yet another championship for their alma mater. Named the UAAP Women’s Volleyball league, Valdez is definitely not a stranger to the sports scene. From last year’s underdog days where no one thought they would make it to becoming defending champions, this lady eagle has become unstoppable. “Last year, our mind set was just to take one game at a time. No pressure. It was just going to the game and playing the game with nothing to lose but everything to gain. But this year was different. Doble yung pressure (We felt twice the pressure). Last year the win was unexpected because we were underdogs. Since this year was different, Coach Tai just remind us to just play and be happy,” she says, bright eyed.
When we sat down with Alyssa, her smile seemed to brighten up the whole room and her energy was electric. It was apparent that her A-game was not something she only reserved for the volleyball court.
Although people might think that she was born with a fervent love for volleyball, Alyssa actually entered the sport looking for something else aside from medals. She says, “I started playing volleyball because I gained new friends and new sisters. I didn’t think na aabot hanggang college yung volleyball (I didn’t think that I would be playing volleyball until college).”
Her love for sports was instilled in her at a young age since she had to keep up with three energetic brothers. “Since I’m the only girl, my brothers would play any sport with me like badminton and basketball. Because of that I became competitive and that didn’t stop, especially when we were playing volleyball. I remember that there was one time I got hit in the face and that challenged me to be better,” she recalls. If getting hit in the face was a precursor to work harder and not curl up into a ball in the corner, this girl definitely has guts. “Honestly, I didn’t have dolls in the house. It was all about playing outdoors like biking and ‘pag malalaro kami ng kapatid ko parang super manly yung mga ginagawa ko. Wala, siguro tinuruan ako ng mga kapatid ko to be brave and strong sa lahat ng nilalaro naming ng bata kami (whenever my brothers and I would play, it was always very manly games. I guess that is what taught me to be brave and strong with everything we played) because it was really challenging,” adds Alyssa.
Now that she has grown up, you can see the same sense of discipline and drive fire up in her eyes. As she speaks about volleyball her tone becomes much more serious and the passion radiating off her was palpable. “After Ateneo and UAAP, if given a chance I want to represent the country. In two to three years I want to play for international leagues. I mean, why not right?” Alyssa states. It is no doubt that Alyssa Valdez is a force to be reckoned with and the world is hers for the taking. She is vibrant, courageous and heart strong.
ALYSSA’S ULTIMATE SPRING STYLE
“Typically, I stick to wearing shorts or trousers paired with a casual top. Although these are just simple pieces, I think that my wardrobe would never be complete without a dressed-down pair of shorts, comfy sweaters and blouses to suit every occasion, a pair of sneakers and a watch.
With spring already here and summer just around the corner, I make sure to have sunglasses and sunblock ready, too! Even when I’m on the go and I have to attend several events in one day and they’re one right after the other, I keep my styling simple but I always make sure that my hair is well-styled and I have a bit of makeup on.”
Art direction by: Alexandra Lara
Photography by: Jerick Sanchez
Styling by: Francesca Atendido and Nicole Blanco Ramos
Makeup by: Anthea Bueno
Hair by: Carell Garcia
Nails by: Triple Luck Brow & Nail Salon
Cover story by: Francesca Atendido
Special thanks to Skull & Bones, Big Guys Pizza, and Jo Cabuay Catering.