UST’s Ysa Jimenez goes pro, skips final playing year
By Jerome Anhag
The UST Golden Tigresses lost another veteran in the upcoming UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament as their key open spiker Ysabel “Ysa” Jimenez opted to play at the professional level.
The UST standout is taking her talents in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) after signing with the PLDT High Speed Hitters, making her the club’s newest signing this year along with former Ateneo Blue Eagle Mich Morente.
“New year, new member. Let us welcome Ysa Jimenez to our High Speed Hitters family!,” the club welcomed her via a recent social media post.
Following key losses in club faithfuls Eli Soyud, Chin Basas, and Heather Guino-o, the inclusion of Jimenez, who will play alongside team captain and former Queen Tigress Rhea Dimaculangan, and the takeover of champion-minded coaches in Raid Ricafort and Alfred Laniog, are all set to boost the High Speed Hitters’ championship aspirations in the upcoming PVL season.
Jimenez was a key piece in UST’s Cinderella run in Season 81, led by then-MVP Sisi Rondina, before bowing down in three games against the Ateneo Lady Eagles in the Finals.
In Season 84, the Tigresses clinched the third seed, securing a Final Four spot before falling short yet again to the fourth-seeded Ateneo Lady Eagles, ultimately ending what was a promising season for the España-based squad.
Following the departure of Tigresses vet Cams Victoria, Jimenez is the second member of the team to forgo their final playing year.
Despite their absences for the upcoming season, UST superstar Eya Laure decided to stay and run it back in España for one last time, while Season 80 rookie of the year Milena Alessandrini eyes a comeback after an injury-derailed sophomore season.
Both Victoria and Jimenez were not present in the team’s recent bootcamp at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio last Jan. 3 until Jan. 9.
Moreover, the withdrawal of Jimenez will pave the way for UST’s ‘Golden Trinity’ in Regina Jurado, Xyza Gula, and Pierre Abellana to give the fans a show after their impressive outings in the preseason.
The newest addition to the High Speed Hitters is all set to bring glory and much-needed offense to her new club, leaving off a successful collegiate career behind which was plagued by injuries.