The UAAP Season 79 Women's Volleyball Finals might have come to an early end, with the DLSU Lady Spikers sealing their back-to-back championship by downing the Ateneo Lady Eagles in two of three games. Yesterday, yet again, the Big Dome saw itself leaking in audience number and the Internet went exploding with the green-versus-green rivalry as the trending topic. Indeed, women's volleyball has become so huge in the country recently thanks to these young volleybelles. We may give some credit, too, to Alyssa Valdez, Mika Reyes, and the rest of these "influencers" and semi-celebrities who have donned UAAP volleyball jerseys, too!
[related: Cheat Sheet: 15 Ways To Enjoy The Next UAAP And NCAA Season]
Here, we want to give a shout out to some of these resident Ateneo and La Salle players whose beauty, brain, and brawn have had us looking up to them as our #lifepegs. Welcome your new role models when it comes to loving yourselves more no matter your height, weight, or other peculiarity!
Peg for the big-boned: Kat Tolentino (open spiker, Ateneo)
One might consider her big-boned and too tall for any girl her age, but that's because she's exactly far from average. We say Kat could easily pass as a model for her morena beauty and enviable 6'2'' height. She is one to share an inspiring athlete's story having suffered through three ACL injuries throughout her career including her UAAP stint being hindered in her first two years here. She entered this season with high expectations from fans and spectators alike–she, of course, made the wait worth it.
Peg for the petite ones: Jia Morado (setter, Ateneo)
Jia Morado may be among the smallest in her team (she’s 5’7’’, in case you were wondering), but that hasn't reduced her ability to lead her team with excellent volleyball sets. The one-time UAAP Best Setter also received the same plum at the 2016 ASEAN University Games and the Shakey's V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference. Too bad the student-entrepreneur is not returning next season!
[related: In Focus: Why There's No 'I' In 'Team']
Peg for the morenas: Ponggay Gaston (middle blocker, Ateneo)
In a country that insists on feeding its public whitening and slimming products, young women like Ponggay remind us that having morena skin and killer curves is totes something to be proud of! #BodyPositivity, all the way! Ponggay is the daughter of former beauty queen Duday Mandanas-Gaston, and it will be no surprise for us in case she follows in her mom's footsteps!
Peg for the lanky: Kim Dy (opposite spiker, DLSU)
Whoever said that being tall is awkward probably hasn’t seen Kim in action. The 5’10’’ UAAP Season 78 Finals MVP and former UAAP Girls' MVP dominates on the court with grace and strength as much as she struts her stuff on Instagram. Watch this celebrity-athlete be the next biggest influencer!
Peg for those who think they look anti-feminine: Majoy Baron (middle blocker, DLSU)
The Tarlac native has just been hailed this season's MVP–she's obviously got that statuesque physique working for her. But we won’t be surprised if in the near future this self-confessed kikay decides to try her luck in the modeling world of pageantry. Her strong facial features will definitely make her a competition!
Peg for the baby-faced: Michelle Cobb (setter, DLSU)
This rookie may look all kinds of adorable but that doesn’t mean she can’t be aggressive on the court. The 18-year-old setter has been stepping up her game, and is already being groomed as the next Kim Fajardo (fellow setter and current captain) of her team.
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Banner photograph from instagram.com/majoybaron